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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 767-200 and -300 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the aft pressure bulkhead web to pressure chord joint is subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This AD requires repetitive high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the aft pressure bulkhead web at fasteners common to the bulkhead web and pressure chord, around the entire circumference of the pressure chord, for any crack, and repair of cracks. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the aft pressure bulkhead web. Such cracking could result in the loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

DATES:

This AD is effective September 30, 2016.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of September 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

For service information identified in this final rule, 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. It is also available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2016-4221.

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-2016-4221; 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:

Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: wayne.lockett@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 767-200 and -300 series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2016 (81 FR 12047) (“the NPRM”). The NPRM was prompted by an evaluation by the DAH indicating that the aft pressure bulkhead web to pressure chord joint is subject to WFD. The NPRM proposed to require repetitive HFEC inspections of the aft pressure bulkhead web at fasteners common to the bulkhead web and pressure chord, around the entire circumference of the pressure chord, for any crack, and repair of cracks. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the aft pressure bulkhead web. Such cracking could result in the loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

Comments

We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing this AD. The following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's response. Boeing and United Airlines supported the NPRM.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing supplemental type certificate (STC) ST01920SE does not affect the actions specified in the proposed AD.

We concur with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of the proposed AD as paragraph (c)(1), and added new paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to state that installation of STC ST01920SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01920SE 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.

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 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 for correcting the unsafe condition; and
  • Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed in the NPRM.

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

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015. The service information describes procedures for HFEC inspections of the aft pressure bulkhead web at fasteners Start Printed Page 58817common to the bulkhead web and pressure chord, around the entire circumference of the pressure chord, for any crack, and repair of cracks. This service information is reasonably available because the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this AD affects 296 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
Inspection57 work-hours × $85 per hour = $4,845$0$4,845$1,434,120

The size of any repair area needs to be determined before material and work-hour costs can be calculated, so we cannot 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

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

2016-17-06 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18619; Docket No. FAA-2016-4221; Directorate Identifier 2015-NM-167-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective September 30, 2016.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

(1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 767-200 and -300 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

(2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01920SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/​Regulatory_​and_​Guidance_​Library/​rgstc.nsf/​0/​59027f43b9a7486e86257b1d006591ee/​$FILE/​ST01920SE_​AML.pdf) does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01920SE 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 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder indicating that the aft pressure bulkhead web to pressure chord joint is subject to widespread fatigue damage. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks in the aft pressure bulkhead web. Such cracking could result in the loss of structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections

Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015, perform a surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspection for cracking of the aft pressure bulkhead web at fasteners common to the bulkhead web and pressure chord, around the entire circumference of the pressure chord, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015. For this AD, Group 2, Configuration 2, as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015, includes airplanes with the aft pressure bulkhead replaced as specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0267. Repeat the inspection thereafter at the applicable time specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015.

(h) Service Information Exception

Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015, 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.

(i) Crack Repair

If any crack is found during any inspection required by paragraph (g) of this AD, before further flight, repair the crack using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD. Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015, specifies to contact Boeing for repair instructions, and specifies that action as “RC” (Required for Compliance), this AD requires repair as specified in this paragraph. Installation of a Start Printed Page 58818repair terminates the inspections required by paragraph (g) of this AD in the area covered by the repair only.

(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, modification, or alteration 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. To be approved, the repair method, modification deviation, or alteration deviation must meet the certification basis of the airplane and the approval must specifically refer to this AD.

(4) Except as required by paragraph (i) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (j)(4)(i) and (j)(4)(ii) apply.

(i) The steps labeled as RC, including substeps under an RC step and any figures identified in an RC step, must be done to comply with the AD. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

(ii) Steps not labeled as RC may be deviated from using accepted methods in accordance with the operator's maintenance or inspection program without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the RC steps, including substeps and identified figures, can still be done as specified, and the airplane can be put back in an airworthy condition.

(k) Related Information

For more information about this AD, contact Wayne Lockett, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6447; fax: 425-917-6590; email: wayne.lockett@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 Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0268, dated April 1, 2015.

(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 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.

(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 August 16, 2016.

Dorr M. Anderson,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2016-20075 Filed 8-25-16; 8:45 am]

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