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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 717-200 airplanes. This AD was prompted by multiple reports of cracking in the overwing frames. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking in the overwing frames, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could result in a severed frame and might increase the loading of adjacent frames, resulting in damage to the adjacent structure and consequent loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective April 15, 2014.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of April 15, 2014.

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ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; 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 and locating Docket No. FAA-2013-0977; 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:

Eric Schrieber, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, Los Angeles ACO, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5348; fax: 562-627-5210; email: eric.schrieber@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 717-200 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 4, 2013 (78 FR 72836). The NPRM was prompted by multiple reports of cracking in the overwing frames. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive inspections for cracking in the overwing frames, and corrective actions if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could result in a severed frame and might increase the loading of adjacent frames, resulting in damage to the adjacent structure and consequent loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. We have considered the comment received. Boeing stated that it supports the NPRM (78 FR 72836, December 4, 2013).

Change to This Final Rule

We revised paragraph (g)(2)(i) of this final rule to clarify that an operator that has already accomplished the inspections specified in Boeing Multi Operator Message (MOM) MOM-MOM-13-0375-01B, dated May 9, 2013, has a compliance time of within 9,300 flight cycles after those inspections were accomplished to do the actions required by paragraph (g) of this final rule.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD with the change 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 72836, December 4, 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 72836, December 4, 2013).

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 129 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
Inspections22 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,870 per inspection cycle$0$1,870 per inspection cycle$241,230 per inspection cycle

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements that would be required based on the results of any inspection. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need this replacement:

On-Condition Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Replacement of a frame station126 work-hours × $85 per hour = $10,710$83,060$93,770

In addition, for the on-condition repairs specified in this AD, we have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates.

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 Start Printed Page 13532government 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

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

2014-05-22 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17795; Docket No. FAA-2013-0977; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-190-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective April 15, 2014.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 717-200 airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by multiple reports of cracking in the overwing frames. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct such cracking, which could result in a severed frame and might increase the loading of adjacent frames, resulting in damage to the adjacent structure and consequent loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections and Corrective Actions

At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, do a general visual inspection and a high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the left-side and right-side overwing frames at station 737, and do all applicable corrective actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013, except as required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD. Do all applicable corrective actions before further flight. Except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD, repeat the inspections thereafter at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013.

(1) For Group 1, Configuration 1 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013: At the time specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013, except as provided by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD.

(2) For Group 1, Configuration 2 airplanes identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013: At the applicable time specified in paragraph (g)(2)(i) or (g)(2)(ii) of this AD.

(i) For airplanes on which the overwing frame has not been replaced: Within 9,300 flight cycles after the inspections specified in Boeing Multi Operator Message (MOM) MOM-MOM-13-0375-01B, dated May 9, 2013, were accomplished.

(ii) For airplanes on which the overwing frame has been replaced: Within 12,000 flight cycles after replacing the frame.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 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.

(2) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013, specifies to contact Boeing for the compliance time of an inspection repetitive interval, this AD requires a compliance time approved by the FAA in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(3) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, this AD requires repair before further flight using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

This paragraph provides credit for only the initial general visual inspection, HFEC inspection, and frame replacement required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Multi Operator Message MOM-MOM-13-0375-01B, dated May 9, 2013, which is not incorporated by reference in this AD.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Los Angeles 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-LAACO-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, Los Angeles ACO, to make those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must meet the certification basis of the airplane and 14 CFR 25.571, Amendment 45, and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(4) If the service information contains steps that are labeled as RC (Required for Compliance), those steps must be done to comply with this AD; any steps that are not labeled as RC are recommended. Those steps that are not labeled as RC may be deviated from, done as part of other actions, or done using accepted methods different from those identified in the specified service information without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the steps labeled as RC can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps labeled as RC require approval of an AMOC.

(k) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact: Eric Schrieber, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, Los Angeles ACO, FAA, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5348; fax: 562-627-5210; email: eric.schrieber@faa.gov.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference may be obtained at the addresses specified in paragraphs (l)(3) and (l)(4) of this AD.

(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.Start Printed Page 13533

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 717-53A0036, dated August 12, 2013.

(ii) Reserved.

(3) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 3855 Lakewood Boulevard, MC D800-0019, Long Beach, CA 90846-0001; telephone 206-544-5000, extension 2; fax 206-766-5683; 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 February 26, 2014.

Jeffrey E. Duven,

Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-04841 Filed 3-10-14; 8:45 am]

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