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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 supersede an existing airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-100 and -200 series airplanes. The existing AD currently requires replacement of certain underwing fuel tank access covers with stronger, fire-resistant covers. Since we issued that AD, we received reports of standard access doors installed where impact resistant access doors are required and reports of impact resistant doors without stencils. This proposed AD would require inspecting fuel tank access doors to determine that impact resistant access doors are installed in the correct locations, inspecting application of stencils and index markers of impact resistant access doors, corrective actions if necessary, revising the maintenance program, and adding airplanes to the applicability. We are proposing this AD to prevent foreign object penetration of the wing tank, which could lead to a fuel leak near ignition sources (engine, hot brakes), consequently leading to a fuel-fed fire.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by May 28, 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 review copies of the referenced service information 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.

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:

Suzanne Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6438; fax: 425-917-6590; email: suzanne.lucier@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 proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-0302; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-019-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

On December 29, 1986, we issued AD 87-02-07, Amendment 39-5506 (Docket No. 86-NM-175-AD; 52 FR 518-01, January 7, 1987), for certain Model 737-100 and 737-200 series airplanes. That AD requires replacement of certain underwing fuel tank access covers with stronger, fire-resistant covers. That AD resulted from an incident of cover penetration, which resulted in a fire and total loss of the airplane. We issued that AD to prevent foreign object penetration of the wing tank, which could lead to a fuel leak near ignition sources (engine, hot brakes), consequently leading to a fuel-fed fire.

Actions Since Existing AD Was Issued

Since we issued AD 87-02-07, Amendment 39-5506 (Docket No. 86-NM-175-AD; 52 FR 518-01, January 7, 1987), we received reports of standard access doors installed where impact resistant access doors are required and reports of impact resistant doors without stencils.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 737-28-1286, dated January 10, 2012. Start Printed Page 21280The service information describes procedures for inspecting stencils and index markers of impact resistance access doors and corrective action if necessary. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2013-0302.

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 these same type designs.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would retain none of the requirements of AD 87-02-07, Amendment 39-5506 (Docket No. 86-NM-175-AD; 52 FR 518-01, January 7, 1987). Since that AD was issued, the FAA issued section 121.316 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 121.316) requiring that each turbine powered transport category airplane meet the requirements of section 25.963(e) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 25.963(e)). Section 25.963(e) outlines the certification requirements for fuel tank access covers on turbine powered transport category airplanes.

This proposed AD would require inspecting fuel tank access doors to determine that impact resistant access doors are installed in the correct locations, inspecting application of stencils and index markers of impact resistant access doors, corrective actions if necessary, and revising the maintenance program. This proposed AD also would add Model 737-200C and 737-300 series airplanes to the applicability, since these models are similar in design to Model 737-100 and -200 series airplanes.

This proposed AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include a new critical design configuration control limitation (CDCCL). Compliance with CDCCLs is required by section 91.403(c) of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 91.403(c)). For airplanes that have been previously modified, altered, or repaired in the areas addressed by this proposed AD, the operator might not be able to accomplish the actions 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 the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this proposed AD. The request should include a description of changes to the required actions that will ensure the continued damage tolerance of the affected structure.

The phrase “related investigative actions” might be used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that: (1) are related to the primary actions, and (2) are actions that further investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

In addition, the phrase “corrective actions” might be used in this proposed AD. “Corrective actions” are actions that correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for example, repairs.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 128 airplanes of U.S. registry.

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

Estimated Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Inspect, replace, and apply stencil and index marker8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680$0$85$87,040
Revise airworthiness limitations1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $8508510,880

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),

(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

End Part Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority
[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by removing airworthiness directive (AD) 87-02-07, Amendment 39-5506 (Docket No. 86-NM-175-AD; 52 FR 518-01, January 7, 1987), and adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part Start Printed Page 21281

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2013-0302; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-019-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by May 28, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD supersedes AD 87-02-07, Amendment 39-5506 (Docket No. 86-NM-175-AD; 52 FR 518-01, January 7, 1987).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, and -300 series airplanes, certified in any category, as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-28-1286, dated January 10, 2012.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 28, Fuel.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of standard access doors installed where impact resistant access doors are required and reports of impact resistant doors without stencils. We are issuing this AD to prevent foreign object penetration of the wing tank, which could lead to a fuel leak near ignition sources (engine, hot brakes), consequently leading to a fuel-fed fire.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspection and Corrective Actions

Within 72 months after the effective date of this AD, do a general visual inspection of the left-wing and right-wing fuel tank access doors to determine that impact resistant access doors are installed in the correct locations, and an inspection for proper application of stencils and index markers of impact resistance access doors; and do all applicable corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-28-1286, dated January 10, 2012. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

(h) Maintenance Program Revision

Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance program to incorporate airworthiness limitation (AWL) 57-AWL-01, as specified in Section C, Airworthiness Limitations (AWLs)—Fuel Systems, of the Boeing 737-100/200/200C/300/400/500 Airworthiness Limitations (AWLs) and Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMRs), D6-38278-CMR, dated August 2012.

(i) No Alternative Critical Design Configuration Control Limitations (CDCCLs)

After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternative CDCCLs may be used unless the CDCCLs are approved as an alternative method of compliance (AMOC) in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(j) 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.

(k) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Suzanne Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6438; fax: 425-917-6590; email: suzanne.lucier@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, Washington. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on March 28, 2013.

Ali Bahrami,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-08335 Filed 4-9-13; 8:45 am]

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