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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER Series Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires a one-time inspection for missing, damaged, or incorrectly installed parts in the separation link assembly on the deployment bar of the emergency escape system on the entry or service door, and installation of new parts if necessary. This proposed AD would require replacing the separation link assembly on the applicable entry and service doors with an improved separation link assembly, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This proposed AD would also remove certain airplanes from the applicability. This proposed AD results from reports that entry and service doors did not open fully during deployment of emergency escape slides, and additional reports of missing snap rings. We are proposing this AD to prevent failure of an entry or service door to open fully in the event of an emergency evacuation, which could impede exit from the airplane. This condition could result in injury to passengers or crewmembers.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 27, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
  • Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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

Examining the AD Docket

You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Keith Ladderud, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; telephone (425) 917-6435; fax (425) 917-6590.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2008-0150; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-325-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this proposed AD. We will Start Printed Page 7691consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD because of those comments.

We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD.

Discussion

On December 21, 2001, we issued AD-2001-26-19, amendment 39-12585 (67 FR 265, January 3, 2002, for certain Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. That AD requires a one-time inspection for missing, damaged, or incorrectly installed parts in the separation link assembly on the deployment bar of the emergency escape system on the entry or service door, and installation of new parts if necessary. That AD resulted from reports that entry and service doors did not open fully during deployment of emergency escape slides on several Boeing Model 767 series airplanes. We issued that AD to prevent failure of an entry or service door to open fully in the event of an emergency evacuation, which could impede exit from the airplane. This condition could result in injury to passengers or crewmembers.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

Since we issued AD-2001-26-19, we have received additional reports of missing snap rings, which are used for securing the separation link assembly. Investigation revealed that the snap rings fell off after they were possibly damaged during the inspection of the separation link assembly as required by paragraph (a) of AD-2001-26-19. As a result, the manufacturer has developed a new corrective action that replaces the snap rings with nuts and washers. Therefore, we have determined that the existing separation link assembly must be secured with a nut and washer instead of a snap ring to adequately address the unsafe condition. This replacement would eliminate the need for inspecting the separation link assembly. We have also removed Model 767-300F series airplanes from the applicability of this proposed AD, since those airplanes are not equipped with the affected escape slides.

Relevant Service Information

We have reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0428, dated August 23, 2007, for Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series airplanes. The service bulletin describes procedures for replacing the separation link assembly having a snap ring with an improved separation link assembly secured with a nut and washer, on the deployment bar of the emergency escape system on the applicable entry and service doors. The service bulletin also describes procedures for doing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. The related investigative actions include doing a general visual inspection of the separation link housing assembly for worn primer around the assembly, and inspecting the spring in the separation link housing to determine the spring tolerance. The corrective action includes applying two coats of a certain primer if the separation link housing assembly is worn, and replacing any spring that does not fall within a certain tolerance with a new spring. 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 develop on other airplanes of the same type design. For this reason, we are proposing this AD, which would supersede AD-2001-26-19. This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously. This proposed AD would also remove Model 767-300F series airplanes from the applicability.

Costs of Compliance

There are about 1,225 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This proposed AD would affect about 355 airplanes of U.S. registry. The new proposed actions would take up to about 6 work hours per airplane, at an average labor rate of $80 per work hour. Required parts would cost up to about $10,671 per airplane. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the new actions specified in this proposed AD for U.S. operators is $3,958,605, or $11,151 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 removing amendment 39-12585 (67 FR 265, January 3, 2002) and adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

Boeing: Docket No. FAA-2008-0150; Directorate Identifier 2007-NM-325-AD. Start Printed Page 7692

Comments Due Date

(a) The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by March 27, 2008.

Affected ADs

(b) This AD supersedes AD 2001-26-19.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0428, dated August 23, 2007.

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from reports that entry and service doors did not open fully during deployment of emergency escape slides, and additional reports of missing snap rings. We are issuing this AD to prevent failure of an entry or service door to open fully in the event of an emergency evacuation, which could impede exit from the airplane. This condition could result in injury to passengers or crewmembers.

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.

Replacement

(f) Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, replace the separation link assembly on the deployment bar of the emergency escape system on all the applicable entry and service doors with an improved separation link assembly, and do all the applicable related investigative and corrective actions, by accomplishing all of the applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 767-25-0428, dated August 23, 2007.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(g)(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested in accordance with the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19.

(2) 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 31, 2008.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 08-571 Filed 2-8-08; 8:45 am]

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