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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 Model 757-200 and -200PF series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports indicating that a standard access door was located where an impact-resistant access door was required, and stencils were missing from some impact-resistant access doors. This proposed AD would require an inspection of the left- and right-hand wing fuel tank access doors to determine that impact-resistant access doors are installed in the correct locations, and to replace any door with an impact-resistant access door if necessary. This proposed AD also would require an inspection for stencils and index markers on impact-resistant access doors, and application of new stencils or index markers if necessary. This proposed AD would also require revising the maintenance program to incorporate changes to the airworthiness limitations section. We are proposing this AD to prevent foreign object penetration of the fuel tank, which could cause a fuel leak near an ignition source (e.g., hot brakes or engine exhaust nozzle), consequently leading to a fuel-fed fire.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by September 30, 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.Start Printed Page 49380

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, 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:

Suzanne Lucier, Aerospace Engineer, Propulsion Branch, ANM-140S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 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 proposal. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2013-0693; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-059-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 reports of a standard access door located where an impact-resistant access door is required, and stencils missing from some spare impact-resistant access doors. This condition, if not corrected, could result in foreign object penetration of the fuel tank, which could cause a fuel leak near an ignition source (e.g., hot brakes or engine exhaust nozzle), consequently leading to a fuel-fed fire.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28-0118, dated January 12, 2012; and critical design configuration control limitation (CDCCL) Task 57-AWL-01, “Impact-Resistant Fuel Tank Access Doors,” of Section 9, Airworthiness Limitations (AWLs) and Certification Requirements (CMRs) of Boeing 757 Maintenance Planning Data Document D622N001-9, Revision August 2012. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2013-0693.

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

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 and replacing any door with an impact-resistant access door if necessary; inspecting application of stencils and index markers of impact-resistant access doors and application of new stencils or index markers if necessary; and revising the maintenance program.

This proposed AD requires revisions to certain operator maintenance documents to include a new 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.

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

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 86 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
Inspection8 work-hours × $85 per hour = $680$0$680$58,480
Maintenance Program Revision1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $850857,310

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of the proposed inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these replacements:Start Printed Page 49381

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Replacement per door3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255$8,000$8,255
Stencil and index marker4 work-hours × $85 per hour = $3400340

According to the manufacturer, some of the costs of this proposed AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals. We do not control warranty coverage for affected individuals. As a result, we have included all costs in our cost estimate.

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),

(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

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:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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-2013-0693; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-059-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by September 30, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200 and -200PF series airplanes; certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28-0118, dated January 12, 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 indicating that a standard access door was located where an impact-resistant access door was required, and stencils were missing from some impact-resistant access doors. We are issuing this AD to prevent foreign object penetration of the fuel tank, which could cause a fuel leak near an ignition source (e.g., hot brakes or engine exhaust nozzle), consequently leading to a fuel-fed fire.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections

Within 72 months after the effective date of this AD, do the actions specified in paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2) of this AD, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28-0118, dated January 12, 2012.

(1) Do a general visual inspection of the left- and right-hand wing fuel tank access doors to determine whether impact-resistant access doors are installed in the correct locations. If any standard access door is found, before further flight, replace with an impact-resistant access door, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28-0118, dated January 12, 2012.

(2) Do a general visual inspection of the left- and right-hand wing fuel tank impact-resistant access doors to verify stencils and index markers are applied. If a stencil or index marker is missing, before further flight, apply stencil or index marker, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 757-28-0118, dated January 12, 2012.

(h) Maintenance Program Revision

Within 60 days after the effective date of this AD, revise the maintenance program to incorporate critical design configuration control limitations (CDCCLs) Task 57-AWL-01, “Impact-Resistant Fuel Tank Access Doors,” of Section 9, Airworthiness Limitations (AWLs) and Certification Requirements (CMRs) of Boeing 757 Maintenance Planning Data Document D622N001-9, Revision August 2012.

(i) No Alternative Actions, Intervals, and/or CDCCLs

After accomplishing the revision required by paragraph (h) of this AD, no alternative actions (e.g., inspections), intervals, and/or CDCCLs may be used unless the actions, intervals, and/or 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.Start Printed Page 49382

(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, WA 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, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on August 6, 2013.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

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[FR Doc. 2013-19753 Filed 8-13-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P