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Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 727 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of spanwise cracks and corrosion in the wing center box upper skin and rear spar upper chord between left buttock line (LBL) 70.50 and right buttock line (RBL) 70.50 at body station (STA) 870. This AD requires repetitive inspections of the wing center box for cracking around certain fastener rows on the rear spar upper chord horizontal flange; for certain airplanes, repetitive inspections for cracking of the rear spar upper chord radius; for certain other airplanes, repetitive inspections for damage, cracking, and corrosion of the pressure Start Printed Page 43767seal; and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking and corrosion of the upper skin and rear spar upper chord of the wing center box, which could result in loss of the airplane wing and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 26, 2013.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of August 26, 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: (425) 917-6577; fax: (425) 917-6590; email: berhane.alazar@faa.gov.

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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. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2013 (78 FR 15658). The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections of the wing center box for cracking around certain fastener rows on the rear spar upper chord horizontal flange; for certain airplanes, repetitive inspections for cracking of the rear spar upper chord radius; for certain other airplanes, repetitive inspections for damage, cracking, and corrosion of the pressure seal; and repair if necessary.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comments received.

Supportive Comments

Boeing stated that it supports the NPRM (78 FR 15658, March 12, 2013).

FedEx stated that the requirements proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 15658, March 12, 2013) would fit within the planned scheduled maintenance check and not impact fleet availability or span-time of the planned scheduled maintenance check.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed—except for minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 15658, March 12, 2013) for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 15658, March 12, 2013).

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 98 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
Inspection67 work-hours × $85 per hour = $5,695 per inspection cycle$0$5,695 per inspection cycle$558,110 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 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.

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List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

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Adoption of the Amendment

Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, Start Printed Page 43768the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

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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.

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[Amended]
Start Amendment Part

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

End Amendment Part

2013-14-02 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17507 ; Docket No. FAA-2013-0206; Directorate Identifier 2012-NM-068-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective August 26, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 727, 727C, 727-100, 727-100C, 727-200, and 727-200F series airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of spanwise cracks and corrosion in the wing center box upper skin and rear spar upper chord between left buttock line (LBL) 70.50 and right buttock line (RBL) 70.50 at body station (STA) 870. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking and corrosion of the upper skin and rear spar upper chord of the wing center box, which could result in loss of the airplane wing and consequent loss of control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

Except as specified in paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-57-0187, dated March 8, 2012: Inspect the wing center box between LBL 70.50 and RBL 70.50, at STA 870, as specified in paragraphs (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), (g)(4), and (g)(5) of this AD, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-57-0187, dated March 8, 2012. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-57-0187, dated March 8, 2012. If any crack, corrosion, or damage is found during any inspection required by this AD, before further flight, repair using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(1) Do a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) or detailed inspection for cracking around the forward fastener row in the rear spar upper chord horizontal flange.

(2) Do a low frequency eddy current inspection for cracking around the aft fastener row in the rear spar upper chord horizontal flange.

(3) Do a detailed or HFEC inspection for cracking in the rear spar upper chord radius.

(4) Do a detailed or HFEC inspection for cracking in the upper skin around the forward fastener row common to the rear spar upper chord horizontal flange.

(5) Do a detailed inspection for damage, cracking, and corrosion in the pressure seal.

(h) Exception to the Service Information

Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-57-0187, dated March 8, 2012, specifies compliance times “after the original issue date of this service bulletin.” However, this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance times “after the effective date 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 Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: (425) 917-6577; fax: (425) 917-6590; email: berhane.alazar@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 Special Attention Service Bulletin 727-57-0187, dated March 8, 2012.

(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.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 21, 2013.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-16927 Filed 7-19-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P