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Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found in the aft support fitting, the rear spar upper chord, and the rear spar web. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking of the aft support fitting for the main landing gear (MLG) beam, and the rear spar upper chord and rear spar web in the area of rear spar station (RSS) 224.14; and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracks, which could grow and result in a fuel leak and possible fire.

DATES:

This AD is effective April 9, 2014.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 9, 2014.

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 view this 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 by searching for Start Printed Page 12369and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-0866; 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 Docket 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.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nancy Marsh, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6440; fax: 425-917-6590; email: nancy.marsh@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63431). The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks found in the aft support fitting, the rear spar upper chord, and the rear spar web. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for cracking of the aft support fitting for the MLG beam, and the rear spar upper chord and rear spar web in the area of RSS 224.14; and repair if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracks, which could grow and result in a fuel leak and possible fire.

Comment

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comment received on the proposal (78 FR 63431, October 24, 2013) and the FAA's response to that comment.

Statement Regarding Installation of Winglets

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that the installation of winglets per supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions.

We concur. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the NPRM (78 FR 63431, October 24, 2013) as paragraph (c)(1) in this final rule and added paragraph (c)(2) to state that installation of STC ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/​Regulatory_​and_​Guidance_​Library/​rgstc.nsf/​0/​2C6E3DBDDD36F91C862576A4005D64E2?​OpenDocument&​Highlight=​st01219se) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comment received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the changes described previously and minor editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:

  • Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the NPRM (78 FR 63431, October 24, 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 63431, October 24, 2013).

We also determined that these changes will not increase the economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this AD.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 353 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
InspectionUp to 86 work-hours × $85 per hour = $7,310 per inspection cycle$0Up to $7,310 per inspection cycleUp to $2,580,430 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.

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

Adoption of the Amendment

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

Start Part Start Printed Page 12370

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 adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):

End Amendment Part

2014-03-06 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17743; Docket No. FAA-2013-0866; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-131-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective April 9, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

(1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

(2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/​Regulatory_​and_​Guidance_​Library/​rgstc.nsf/​0/​2C6E3DBDDD36F91C862576A4005D64E2?​OpenDocument&​Highlight=​st01219se) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is installed, a “change in product” alternative method of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found in the aft support fitting for the main landing gear (MLG) beam, and the rear spar upper chord and rear spar web. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracks, which could grow and result in a fuel leak and possible fire.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections: Group 1

For airplanes identified in Group 1 of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, do inspections and applicable corrective actions using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(h) Inspections: Groups 2-7

For airplanes identified in Groups 2 through 7 of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013: At the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013, except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD, do high frequency eddy current inspections to detect cracking of the aft support fitting for the MLG beam, and the rear spar upper chord and rear spar web in the area of rear spar station 224.14, as applicable, in accordance with Option 1, 2, or 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013.

(1) If no crack is found, repeat the inspection thereafter at the time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013, as applicable. Accomplishment of the inspection of the 12 fastener holes (locations 1-12) in accordance with Option 2, Action 3; or Option 3, Action 3; as specified in note (b) of tables 2 through 5 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013; terminates only the corresponding inspections that include note (b) in the “Repeat Interval” column of the applicable table.

(2) If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) or (g)(1) of this AD, repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(i) Exception to Service Information Specifications

Where Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 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) 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 (k) 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), which 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

For more information about this AD, contact Nancy Marsh, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6440; fax: 425-917-6590; email: nancy.marsh@faa.gov.

(l) 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 737-57-1318, dated May 15, 2013.

(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 January 18, 2014.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-02521 Filed 3-4-14; 8:45 am]

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