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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 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by an analysis by the manufacturer, which revealed that certain fuse pins for the strut-to-wing attachment of the outboard aft upper spar are susceptible to migration in the event of a failed fuse pin through bolt. This proposed AD would require replacing the fuse pins for the strut-to-wing attachment of the outboard aft upper spar with new fuse pins, and replacing the access cover assemblies with new access cover assemblies. We are proposing this AD to prevent migration of these fuse pins, which could result in the complete disconnect and loss of the strut-to-wing attachment load path for the outboard aft upper spar. The complete loss of an outboard aft upper spar strut-to-wing attachment load path could result in divergent flutter in certain parts of the flight envelope, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 11, 2014.

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 view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356. 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-2014-0343; 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:

Narinder Luthra, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6513; fax: 425-917-6590; email: narinder.luthra@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-2014-0343; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-077-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

An analysis by Boeing revealed that the fuse pins for the strut-to-wing attachment of the outboard aft upper spar on struts Nos. 1 and 4 are susceptible to migration in the event of a failed fuse pin through bolt. To prevent these fuse pins from migrating Start Printed Page 35967outboard, the design of the fuse pins was changed to add a flange. The design of the outboard fuse pin access cover assemblies was also changed by adding interference ribs so a fuse pin can be installed only with the flanged end of the fuse pin on the inboard side of the outboard aft upper spar fitting. Migration of the fuse pins for the strut-to-wing attachment of the outboard aft upper spar on struts Nos. 1 and 4 could result in the complete disconnect and loss of the strut-to-wing attachment load path for the outboard aft upper spar. The complete loss of the No. 1 or No. 4 outboard aft upper spar strut-to-wing attachment load path could result in divergent flutter in certain parts of the flight envelope, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-54A2238, dated January 31, 2014. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2014-0343.

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 described previously.

Explanation of “RC” Steps in Service Information

The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee, to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for annotating which steps in the service information are required for compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent judgment in AD compliance. The actions specified in the service information described previously include steps that are labeled as RC because these steps have a direct effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an identified unsafe condition.

As noted in the specified service information, steps labeled as RC must be done to comply with the proposed AD. However, 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 service information without obtaining approval of an alternative method of compliance (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 will require approval of an alternative method of compliance.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 5 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
Replacement97 work-hours × $85 per hour = $8,245$31,076$39,321$196,605

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

  • Air transportation
  • Aircraft
  • Aviation safety
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Safety
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

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

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2014-0343; Directorate Identifier 2014-NM-077-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by August 11, 2014.Start Printed Page 35968

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes; certificated in any category; having a Variable Number identified in paragraph 1.A., “Effectivity,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-54A2238, dated January 31, 2014; and Variable Number RC573.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 54, Nacelles/Pylons.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an analysis by the manufacturer, which revealed that the fuse pins for the strut-to-wing attachment of the outboard aft upper spar on struts Nos. 1 and 4 are susceptible to migration in the event of a failed fuse pin through bolt. We are issuing this AD to prevent migration of the fuse pins for the strut-to-wing attachment of the outboard aft upper spar on struts Nos. 1 and 4, which could result in the complete disconnect and loss of the strut-to-wing attachment load path for the outboard aft upper spar. The complete loss of the No. 1 or No. 4 outboard aft upper spar strut-to-wing attachment load path could result in divergent flutter in certain parts of the flight envelope, which could result in loss of control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement of Fuse Pins and Access Cover Assemblies

Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD: Replace the fuse pins for the outboard aft upper spar and the access cover assemblies on struts Nos. 1 and 4, with new fuse pins and access cover assemblies, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-54A2238, dated January 31, 2014.

(h) 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 (i)(1) 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.

(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.

(i) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Narinder Luthra, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6513; fax: 425-917-6590; email: narinder.luthra@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 view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.

Start Signature

Issued in Renton, Washington, on June 17, 2014.

Michael J. Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2014-14814 Filed 6-24-14; 8:45 am]

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