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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; the Boeing Company Airplanes

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 767 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of bearing damage at certain trailing edge (TE) flap support rib assemblies. This proposed AD would require inspecting certain TE flap support rib assemblies to determine if the bearings have a roller retention feature, and performing corrective actions if necessary; and inspecting for bearing damage of each pair of removed bearings, and performing related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct damage to the TE flap support bearings, which can result in damage to the TE rotary actuators and consequent dual flap drive system disconnect in both TE flap rotary actuators, and a possible flap aerodynamic blowback with loss of controllability of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by December 23, 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, 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:

Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6577; fax: 425-917-6590; email: Berhane.Alazar@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-2013-0869; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-063-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 have received reports of bearing damage at the TE flap support rib assemblies in flap positions 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8. Bearing damage in the TE flap support rib assembly is caused by the use of mallets during the installation of the shaft on the TE flap support rib assembly when TE flap support bearings without a roller retention feature are installed. This method of installation may compromise bearings without a roller retention feature. Damaged TE flap support bearings can lead to damage to the TE rotary actuators and other TE flap support rib parts, which could result in a dual flap drive system disconnect in both TE flap rotary actuators, and a possible flap aerodynamic blowback with loss of controllability of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FAA-2013-0869.

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 identified previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between the Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

The phrase “related investigative actions” is used in this proposed AD. “Related investigative actions” are follow-on actions that: (1) Are related to the primary actions, and (2) further Start Printed Page 66860investigate the nature of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could include, for example, inspections.

In addition, the phrase “corrective actions” is 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 45 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
InspectionUp to 40 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $3,400$0Up to $3,400Up to $153,000.

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:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Bearing replacement and functional testUp to 24 work-hours × $85 per hour = Up to $2,040Up to $5,936Up to $7,976.

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]
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-2013-0869; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-063-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by December 23, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, -300F, and -400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013.

(d) Subject

Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of bearing damage at certain trailing edge (TE) flap support rib assemblies. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct damage to the TE flap support bearings, which can result in damage to the TE rotary actuators and consequent dual flap drive system disconnect in both TE flap rotary actuators, and a possible flap aerodynamic blowback with loss of controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Bearing Inspection To Determine Roller Retention Feature and Corrective Actions

Except as provided by paragraph (i) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013: Do a general visual inspection of both bearings at the TE flap support rib assembly in flap positions 1, 2, 7, and 8 to determine if the bearings have a roller retention feature; and do all applicable corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Start Printed Page 66861Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight.

(h) Bearing Inspection for Damage, Related Investigative Actions, and Corrective Actions

For each pair of bearings removed as required by paragraph (g) of this AD: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013: Do a general visual inspection for bearing damage of the bearings; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective actions before further flight.

(i) Exception to Compliance Time

Where paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0227, dated February 12, 2013, specifies a compliance time “after the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires compliance within the specified compliance time “after the effective date of this AD.”

(j) Credit for Previous Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service Information

This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-27A0222, dated June 24, 2010, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(k) 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Berhane Alazar, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6577; fax: 425-917-6590; email: Berhane.Alazar@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 October 31, 2013.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2013-26708 Filed 11-6-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P