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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Airplanes Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, -500, -600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a report that the seat track attachment of body station 520 flexible joint is structurally deficient in resisting a 9g forward emergency load condition in certain seating configurations. This proposed AD would require replacing the pivot link assembly on certain seats, and modifying or replacing the seat track link assemblies on certain seats. Also, for certain airplanes, this proposed AD would require installing a new seat track link assembly. We are proposing this AD to prevent seat detachment in an emergency landing, which could cause injury to occupants of the passenger compartment and affect emergency egress.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by March 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, 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: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

For service information identified in this proposed 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 Start Printed Page 3366review 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 proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah Piccola, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6483; fax: 425-917-6590; email: sarah.piccola@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2012-1317; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-194-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 consider 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

We received a report that the seat track attachment of body station 520 flexible joint is structurally deficient in resisting a 9g forward emergency load condition in certain seating configurations. This condition, if not corrected, could result in seat detachment in an emergency landing and cause injury to occupants of the passenger compartment and affect emergency egress.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1244, Revision 5, dated July 27, 2011, for Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes. This service bulletin, among other things, describes procedures for installing new, improved pivot link assemblies.

We have also reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1260, dated May 7, 2007, for Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This service bulletin describes procedures for modifying or replacing the seat track link assemblies.

Concurrent Service Bulletin

Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1260, dated May 7, 2007, specifies, for certain airplanes, prior or concurrent accomplishment of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1120, Revision 1, dated May 13, 1993, for modifying or installing new seat track link assemblies.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified in the service information described previously.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1,281 airplanes of U.S. registry.

We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productU.S. airplanesCost on U.S. operators
Replacement or modificationUp to 41 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3,485Up to $15,478Up to $18,9631,281Up to $24,291,603.
Concurrent installation or modification (Groups 1, 2, 4, and 5 airplanes)Up to 60 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,100Up to $18,089Up to $23,189214Up to $4,962,446.

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 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 this 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),Start Printed Page 3367

(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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
End List of Subjects

The Proposed Amendment

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

Start Part

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 airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2012-1317; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-194-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by March 4, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to the airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD certificated in any category.

(1) The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1260, dated May 7, 2007.

(2) The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1244, Revision 5, dated July 27, 2011.

(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 that a Boeing study found that the seat track attachment of body station 520 flexible joint is structurally deficient in resisting a 9 g forward emergency load condition in certain seating configurations. We are issuing this AD to prevent seat detachment in an emergency landing, which could cause injury to occupants of the passenger compartment and affect emergency egress.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repair or Replacement of Seat Track Link Assembly

Within 60 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, as applicable.

(1) For Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, and -900 series airplanes: Install new, improved pivot link assemblies, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1244, Revision 5, dated July 27, 2011.

(2) For Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes: Modify or replace, as applicable, the seat track link assembly, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1260, dated May 7, 2007.

(h) Concurrent Actions

For airplanes in Groups 1, 2, 4, and 5, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1260, dated May 7, 2007: Before or concurrently with the accomplishment of the actions specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD, install a new seat track link assembly or modify the seat track link assembly, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1120, Revision 1, dated May 13, 1993.

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

(j) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Sarah Piccola, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Branch, ANM-150S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6483; fax: 425-917-6590; email: sarah.piccola@faa.gov.

(2) 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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on January 10, 2013.

Kalene C. Yanamura,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-00801 Filed 1-15-13; 8:45 am]

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