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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model 717-200 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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The FAA is superseding an existing airworthiness directive (AD), which applies to all McDonnell Douglas Model 717-200 airplanes. That AD currently requires revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new removal limits for certain components of the flap system and to reduce the interval of inspections for fatigue cracking of certain principal structural elements (PSEs). This new AD requires revising the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate reduced initial inspection and repeat inspection intervals for certain PSEs. This AD results from a revised damage tolerance analysis. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of certain PSEs, which could adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD becomes effective June 29, 2007.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of June 29, 2007.

On September 23, 2003 (68 FR 49686, August 19, 2003), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Boeing Report No. MDC-96K9063, Revision 3, dated August 2002.

ADDRESSES:

You may examine the 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., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, DC.

Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024), for service information identified in this AD.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Rathfelder, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5229; fax (562) 627-5210.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Examining the Docket

You may examine the airworthiness directive (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 street address stated in the ADDRESSES section.

Discussion

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that supersedes AD 2003-17-01, amendment 39-13274 (68 FR 49686, August 19, 2003). The existing AD applies to all McDonnell Douglas Model 717-200 airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on February 26, 2007 (72 FR 8303). That NPRM proposed to continue to require revising the Airworthiness Limitations Section (ALS) of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate new removal limits for certain components of the flap system and to reduce the interval of inspections for fatigue cracking of certain principal structural elements (PSEs). That NPRM also proposed to require revising the ALS of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness to incorporate reduced initial inspection and repeat inspection intervals for certain PSEs.

Comments

We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comment that has been received on the NPRM. The commenter, AirTran Airways, supports the NPRM.

Clarification of Alternative Method of Compliance (AMOC) Paragraph

We have revised this action to clarify the appropriate procedure for notifying the principal inspector before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies.

Conclusion

We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the change described previously. We have determined that this change will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that 108 airplanes of U.S. registry are affected by AD 2003-17-01, that it takes approximately 1 work hour per airplane to accomplish the required actions, and that the average labor rate is $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the cost impact on U.S. operators of the actions required by AD 2003-17-01 and retained in this AD is estimated to be $8,640, or $80 per airplane.

There are about 155 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This AD affects about 121 airplanes of U.S. registry. The new required maintenance and inspection program revision takes about 1 work hour per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the new AD to U.S. operators is $9,680, or $80 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. Start Printed Page 29238

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 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 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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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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends § 39.13 by removing amendment 39-13274 (

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2007-11-13 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-15070. Docket No. FAA-2007-27338; Directorate Identifier 2006-NM-148-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This AD becomes effective June 29, 2007.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2003-17-01.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all McDonnell Douglas Model 717-200 airplanes, certificated in any category.

Note 1:

This AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to incorporate new inspections for fatigue cracking of principal structural elements (PSEs). Compliance with these inspections is required by 14 CFR 91.403(c). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by these inspections, the operator may not be able to incorporate the inspections described in the revisions. In this situation, to comply with 14 CFR 91.403(c), the operator must request approval for an alternative method of compliance according to paragraph (j) of this AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required inspections that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure. The FAA has provided guidance for this determination in Advisory Circular (AC) 25-1529-1.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from a revised damage tolerance analysis. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking of certain PSEs, which could adversely affect the structural integrity 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.

Restatement of Requirements of AD 2003-17-01

Revising Airworthiness Limitations Section

(f) Within 180 days after September 23, 2003 (the effective date of AD 2003-17-01), revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, Airworthiness Limitations Instructions (ALI), in accordance with Boeing Report No. MDC-96K9063, Revision 3, dated August 2002.

(g) Except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD: After the actions specified in paragraph (f) of this AD have been done, no alternative inspection intervals or replacement times may be approved for the PSEs and safe-life limited parts specified in Boeing Report No. MDC-96K9063, Revision 3, dated August 2002.

New Requirements of This AD

Revising Airworthiness Limitations Section Using Revision 5

(h) Within 180 days after the effective date of this AD: Revise the Airworthiness Limitations Section of the Instructions for Continued Airworthiness, ALI, in accordance with Boeing 717-200 ALI, Report MDC-96K9063, Revision 5, dated February 2006.

(i) Except as provided by paragraph (j) of this AD: After the actions specified in paragraph (h) of this AD have been done, no alternative inspection intervals or replacement times may be approved for the PSEs and safe-life limited parts specified in Boeing 717-200 ALI, Report MDC-96K9063, Revision 5, dated February 2006.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(j)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) 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, Los Angeles 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.

(3) To request a different method of compliance or a different compliance time for this AD, follow the procedures in 14 CFR 39.19. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(k) You must use Boeing Report No. MDC-96K9063, Revision 3, dated August 2002; and Boeing 717-200 Airworthiness Limitations Instructions, Report MDC-96K9063, Revision 5, dated February 2006; as applicable, to perform the actions that are required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approves the incorporation by reference of Boeing 717-200 Airworthiness Limitations Instructions, Report MDC-96K9063, Revision 5, dated February 2006, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) On September 23, 2003 (68 FR 49686, August 19, 2003), the Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of Boeing Report No. MDC-96K9063, Revision 3, dated August 2002.

(3) Contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024), for a copy of this service information. You may review copies at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/​federal-register/​cfr/​ibr-locations.html.

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Issued in Renton, Washington, on May 15, 2007.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-10024 Filed 5-24-07; 8:45 am]

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