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Airworthiness Directives; McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8-11, DC-8-12, DC-8-21, DC-8-31, DC-8-32, DC-8-33, DC-8-41, DC-8-42, and DC-8-43 Airplanes; Model DC-8-50 Series Airplanes; Model DC-8F-54 and DC-8F-55 Airplanes; Model DC-8-60 Series Airplanes; Model DC-8-60F Series Airplanes; Model DC-8-70 Series Airplanes; and Model DC-8-70F 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.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all McDonnell Douglas airplanes identified above. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the lower skin and stringers at stations Xw=408 and Xw=−408, and corrective actions if necessary. This AD results from reports of cracks in the skins and stringers at the end fasteners common to the stringer end fittings at stations Xw=408 and Xw=−408 wing splice joints. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the skins and stringers at the end fasteners common to the stringer end fittings at certain station and wing splice joints, which could result in wing structure that might not sustain limit load, and consequent loss of structural integrity of the wing.

DATES:

This AD is effective January 28, 2009.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of January 28, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024); telephone 206-544-9990; fax 206-766-5682; e-mail DDCS@boeing.com; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

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 AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office (telephone 800-647-5527) is the Document Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dara Albouyeh, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5222; fax (562) 627-5210.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an airworthiness directive (AD) that would apply to all McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8-11, DC-8-12, DC-8-21, DC-8-31, DC-8-32, DC-8-33, DC-8-41, DC-8-42, and DC-8-43 airplanes; Model DC-8-50 series airplanes; Model DC-8F-54 and DC-8F-55 airplanes; Model DC-8-60 series airplanes; Model DC-8-60F series airplanes; Model DC-8-70 series airplanes; and Model DC-8-70F series airplanes. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on August 12, 2008 (73 FR 46823). That NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections of the lower skin and stringers at stations Xw=408 and Xw=-408, and corrective actions if necessary.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We considered the comment received from the commenters. Start Printed Page 78947

Request To Review Proposed Compliance Time for Accuracy

The Air Transport Association (ATA), on behalf of its member UPS, requests that we review the compliance time specified in the NPRM against Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC8-57A102, dated February 12, 2008 (“the service bulletin”). UPS points out that the Relevant Service Information section of the NPRM specifies a compliance time of “Before the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles, or within 1,500 flight cycles or 2 years after the date of the service bulletin, whichever occurs latest.” UPS further points out that the compliance time specified in the service bulletin is “Before the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles, or within 1,500 flight cycles or 2 years after the date of the service bulletin, whichever occurs first.” UPS prefers that the NPRM be revised to match the service bulletin.

We do not agree to revise the compliance time specified in this final rule. However, we find that clarification is necessary because the Relevant Service Information section of the NPRM does not accurately reflect the compliance time specified in the service bulletin.

It was our intent that the compliance time specified throughout the NPRM match the compliance time specified in the service bulletin. The Relevant Service Information section of the NPRM should have described the compliance time specified in the service bulletin as follows: “Whichever occurs later: (1) Before the accumulation of 20,000 total flight cycles; or (2) within 1,500 flight cycles or 2 years after the date of the service bulletin (whichever occurs first).” Although it is not clear in the NPRM that the grace period is the earlier of “1,500 flight cycles or 2 years * * *,” it is clear that the compliance time is the later of 20,000 total flight cycles or the grace period (1,500 flight cycles or 2 years), as specified in the service bulletin.

Because paragraph (f) of the NPRM refers to paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of the service bulletin as the appropriate source of information for the compliance time for the proposed actions, our intent was clear that the proposed compliance time for this AD match the compliance time provided in the service bulletin. No change to this final rule is necessary in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD as proposed.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 87 airplanes of U.S. registry. The following table provides the estimated costs for U.S. operators to comply with this AD.

Estimated Costs

ActionWork hoursAverage labor rate per hourPartsCost per productNumber of U.S.- registered airplanesFleet cost
Inspection6$80$0$480, per inspection cycle87$41,760, per inspection 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.

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

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.

You can find our regulatory evaluation and the estimated costs of compliance in the AD Docket.

Start List of Subjects

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.

End Authority
[Amended]
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new AD:

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2008-26-07 McDonnell Douglas: Amendment 39-15773. Docket No. FAA-2008-0858; Directorate Identifier 2008-NM-054-AD.

Effective Date

(a) This airworthiness directive (AD) is effective January 28, 2009.

Affected ADs

(b) None.

Applicability

(c) This AD applies to all McDonnell Douglas Model DC-8-11, DC-8-12, DC-8-21, DC-8-31, DC-8-32, DC-8-33, DC-8-41, DC-8-42, DC-8-43, DC-8-51, DC-8-52, DC-8-53, DC-8-55, DC-8F-54, DC-8F-55, DC-8-61, DC-8-62, DC-8-63, DC-8-61F, DC-8-62F, DC-8-63F, DC-8-71, DC-8-72, DC-8-73, DC-8-71F, DC-8-72F, and DC-8-73F airplanes; certificated in any category. Start Printed Page 78948

Unsafe Condition

(d) This AD results from reports of cracks in the skins and stringers at the end fasteners common to the stringer end fittings at stations Xw=408 and Xw=−408 wing splice joints. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking in the skins and stringers at the end fasteners common to the stringer end fittings at certain station and wing splice joints, which could result in wing structure that might not sustain limit load, and consequent loss of structural integrity of the wing.

Compliance

(e) Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.

Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions

(f) At the times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC8-57A102, dated February 12, 2008 (“the service bulletin”), except as provided by paragraph (g) of this AD: Do the applicable inspections for fatigue cracking of the lower skin and stringers at stations Xw=408 and Xw=−408, and do all applicable corrective actions, by accomplishing all applicable actions specified in the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin, except as provided by paragraph (h) of this AD. Do all corrective actions before further flight, in accordance with the service bulletin. Thereafter, repeat the inspections at the applicable intervals specified in paragraph 1.E. of the service bulletin.

(g) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC8-57A102, dated February 12, 2008 (“the service bulletin”), specifies a compliance time after the date on the service bulletin, this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

(h) If any cracking is found during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC8-57A102, dated February 12, 2008, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action: Before further flight, repair the cracking using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(i)(1) The Manager, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, ATTN: Dara Albouyeh, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; telephone (562) 627-5222; fax (562) 627-5210; has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using 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.

(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, 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 14 CFR 25.571, Amendment 45, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(4) Accomplishing the requirements of this AD is an acceptable AMOC with the requirements of paragraph (b) of AD 93-01-15, amendment 39-8469, for those areas of principal structural element 57.08.037/038.

Material Incorporated by Reference

(j) You must use Boeing Alert Service Bulletin DC8-57A102, dated February 12, 2008, to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of this service information under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Long Beach Division, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, Long Beach, California 90846, Attention: Data and Service Management, Dept. C1-L5A (D800-0024); telephone 206-544-9990; fax 206-766-5682; e-mail DDCS@boeing.com; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

(3) You may review copies of the service information that is incorporated by reference at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221 or 425-227-1152.

(4) You may also review copies of the service information 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/​code_​of_​federal_​regulations/​ibr_​locations.html.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on December 12, 2008.

Michael J. Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-30265 Filed 12-23-08; 8:45 am]

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