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Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

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ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found in the fuselage skin under the aft drain mast. This AD requires a detailed inspection for cracking and corrosion of the channel and fillers adjacent to the drain mast bolts, an inspection to determine the location of the bonding strap, a measurement of the washers under the drain mast bolts, and related investigative actions and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the fuselage skin and internal support structure, which could result in uncontrolled decompression of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective January 7, 2013.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of January 7, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

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 (phone: 800-647-5527) is 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: wayne.lockett@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. That NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 21, 2012 (77 FR 50414). That NPRM proposed to require a detailed inspection for cracking and corrosion of the channel and fillers adjacent to the drain mast bolts, an inspection to determine the location of the bonding strap, a measurement of the washers under the drain mast bolts, and related investigative actions and repair if necessary.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the proposal (77 FR 50414, August 21, 2012) and the FAA's response to the comment.

Statement Regarding Installation of Winglets

Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) stated that the installation of winglets per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect them.

We have added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/regulatory_and_guidance_library/rgstc.nsf/0/2C6E3DBDDD36F91C862576A4005D64E2?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01219se) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17. For all other AMOC requests, the operator must request approval for an AMOC in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the change described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (77 FR 50414, August 21, 2012) for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (77 FR 50414, August 21, 2012).

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 612 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Detailed inspection, bonding strap inspection, washer measurement4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $340$0$340$208,080

We estimate the following costs to do certain necessary conditional actions that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these actions:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Drain mast removal, high frequency eddy current and detailed inspections, and drain mast installation5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425$0$425

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide a cost estimate for the repair specified in this AD.

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),

(3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(4) 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

Adoption of the Amendment

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

PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

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

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

[Amended]

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

2012-23-14 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17270; Docket No. FAA-2012-0857; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-244-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective January 7, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

(1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011.

(2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/regulatory_and_guidance_library/rgstc.nsf/0/2C6E3DBDDD36F91C862576A4005D64E2?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01219se) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17. For all other AMOC requests, the operator must request approval for an AMOC in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by a report of a crack found in the fuselage skin under the aft drain mast. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the fuselage skin and internal support structure, which could result in uncontrolled decompression of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Repair

(1) For airplanes identified as Group 1 airplanes as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011: At the times specified in paragraph 1.E. “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), and (g)(1)(iii) of this AD, and do all related investigative actions and repair, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011, except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD. Related investigative actions and repairs must be done before further flight. If the drain mast is found to be installed correctly, no further action is required by this paragraph.

(i) Do a detailed inspection for cracking and signs of corrosion of the channel and the fillers adjacent to the drain mast bolts.

(ii) Inspect the bonding strap for the correct location.

(iii) Measure the diameter and thickness of the washers under the drain mast bolts.

(2) For airplanes identified as Group 2 airplanes as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect and repair, as required, using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD. Repairs must be done before further flight.

(h) Exception

(1) Where Paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011, specifies a compliance time after the original issue date of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011, this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time after the effective date of this AD.

(2) For airplanes identified as Group 1 airplanes as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011: If any cracking or sign of corrosion is found during any inspection required by this AD, and Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011, specifies to contact Boeing for appropriate action, before further flight, repair the crack or sign of corrosion using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the attention of the person identified in the Related Information section of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-Seattle-ACO-AMOC-Requests@faa.gov.

(2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager of the local flight standards district office/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 the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that 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.

(j) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: wayne.lockett@faa.gov.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

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

(2) You must use this service information as applicable to do the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1318, dated October 31, 2011.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

(4) You may view this service information at FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

(5) You may view this service information that is incorporated by reference 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.

Issued in Renton, Washington, on November 13, 2012.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-28504 Filed 11-30-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P