Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 727 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the frame-to-floor beam attachment is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive high frequency eddy current inspections for any crack of the frames at body station (STA) 188 through STA 344, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking at the frame-to-floor beam attachment, on both the left- and right-sides, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane, and decompression of the cabin.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 17, 2013.
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.
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 98057-3356. 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.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Chandra Ramdoss, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; phone: (562) 627-5239; fax: (562) 627-5210; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Start Supplemental Information
We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about Start Printed Page 25906this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-0362; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-030-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.
Structural fatigue damage is progressive. It begins as minute cracks, and those cracks grow under the action of repeated stresses. This can happen because of normal operational conditions and design attributes, or because of isolated situations or incidents such as material defects, poor fabrication quality, or corrosion pits, dings, or scratches. Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally. Global fatigue damage is general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. Multiple-site damage is global damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Global damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site-damage and multiple-element-damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane, in a condition known as widespread fatigue damage (WFD). As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.
The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.
The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.
In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.
Cracks were discovered in the frame web common to the floor beam attachment during a Model 727 extended pressure test. Using the extended pressure test results, a WFD assessment was performed for fuselage frames common to the floor beam attachments. The result of the assessment is a recommendation for an inspection program for the section 41 frame fastener holes in the area of the floor beam attachments. Frame cracking could adversely affect the integrity of the airplane structure. Extended frame cracking could lead to complete fracture of the frame, which may result in damage to the skin and cause a possible decompression.
Relevant Service Information
We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-53-0234, dated January 17, 2013. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2013-0362.
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, except as discussed under “Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information.”
This proposed AD would require that requests for approval of alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) be directed to the Seattle Aircraft Certification Office.
Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information
Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-53-0234, dated January 17, 2013, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to repair certain conditions, but this proposed AD would require repairing those conditions in one of the following ways:
- In accordance with a method that we approve; or
- Using data that meet the certification basis of the airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have authorized to make those findings.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD affects 106 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:
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|Action||Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product||Cost on U.S. operators|
|Inspection||118 work-hours × $85 per hour = $10,030 per inspection cycle||$0||$10,030 per inspection cycle||$1,063,180 per inspection cycle|
We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed 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.
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),
(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.
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- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
- Incorporation by reference
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
Start Amendment Part
2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): End Amendment Part
The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2013-0362; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-030-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
We must receive comments by June 17, 2013.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-53-0234, dated January 17, 2013.
Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.
(e) Unsafe Condition
This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the frame-to-floor beam attachment is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct fatigue cracking at the frame-to-floor beam attachment, on both the left- and right-sides, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane, and decompression of the cabin.
Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.
(g) Inspection and Repair
Before the accumulation of 61,000 total flight cycles, or within 24 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever occurs later, do a high frequency eddy current inspection for cracking of the frames (for certain stations), in the area of the floor beam attachments on both the left- and right-sides of the airplane, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-53-0234, dated January 17, 2013. Repeat this inspection thereafter at intervals not to exceed 20,000 flight cycles. If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD, before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (h) of this AD.
(h) 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 paragraph (i)(2) of 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 Aircraft Certification Office (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.
(i) Related Information
(1) For more information about this AD, contact Chandra Ramdoss, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712-4137; phone: (562) 627-5239; fax: (562) 627-5210; email: email@example.com.
(2) For information about AMOCs, contact Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Seattle ACO, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6577; fax: 425-917-6590; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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. You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.
End Supplemental Information
Issued in Renton, Washington, on April 23, 2013.
Jeffrey E. Duven,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-10487 Filed 5-2-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P