Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the fuselage skin lap splices are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). This proposed AD would require repetitive inspections to detect any crack in the fuselage skin at the skin lap splices. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct cracks at the fuselage skin lap splice, which can rapidly link up, possibly resulting in rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane.
We must receive comments on this proposed AD by November 14, 2016.
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.
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 NPRM, 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-2016-9116.
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-2016-9116; 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.
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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: email@example.com.
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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-2016-9116; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-068-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.
Fatigue damage can occur locally, in small areas or structural design details, or globally, in widespread areas. Multiple-site damage (MSD) is widespread damage that occurs in a large structural element such as a single rivet line of a lap splice joining two large skin panels. Widespread damage can also occur in multiple elements such as adjacent frames or stringers. Multiple-site damage and multiple-Start Printed Page 66554element damage cracks are typically too small initially to be reliably detected with normal inspection methods. Without intervention, these cracks will grow, and eventually compromise the structural integrity of the airplane. This condition is known as WFD. It is associated with general degradation of large areas of structure with similar structural details and stress levels. As an airplane ages, WFD will likely occur, and will certainly occur if the airplane is operated long enough without any intervention.
The FAA's WFD final rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) became effective on January 14, 2011. The WFD rule requires certain actions to prevent structural failure due to WFD throughout the operational life of certain existing transport category airplanes and all of these airplanes that will be certificated in the future. For existing and future airplanes subject to the WFD rule, the rule requires that DAHs establish a limit of validity (LOV) of the engineering data that support the structural maintenance program. Operators affected by the WFD rule may not fly an airplane beyond its LOV, unless an extended LOV is approved.
The WFD rule (75 FR 69746, November 15, 2010) does not require identifying and developing maintenance actions if the DAHs can show that such actions are not necessary to prevent WFD before the airplane reaches the LOV. Many LOVs, however, do depend on accomplishment of future maintenance actions. As stated in the WFD rule, any maintenance actions necessary to reach the LOV will be mandated by airworthiness directives through separate rulemaking actions.
In the context of WFD, this action is necessary to enable DAHs to propose LOVs that allow operators the longest operational lives for their airplanes, and still ensure that WFD will not occur. This approach allows for an implementation strategy that provides flexibility to DAHs in determining the timing of service information development (with FAA approval), while providing operators with certainty regarding the LOV applicable to their airplanes.
We determined that the existing Boeing 767 Maintenance Planning Document (MPD) Section 9 Airworthiness Limitation Instructions inspection program is not sufficient to preclude the occurrence of WFD in the fuselage skin lap splice as the airplane ages. The fuselage skin lap splice has multiple similar adjacent details that have the potential for MSD and the potential for WFD. 14 CFR 26.21 requires evaluation of such designs for the potential for WFD and implementation of the appropriate service actions to ensure that WFD is precluded before the airplane's LOV. We have received no reports of cracks in the fuselage skin lap splices. WFD cracking at the fuselage skin lap splice, if not corrected, could rapidly link up, possibly resulting in rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016. The service information describes procedures for repetitive inspections and repair for any crack in the fuselage skin at the skin lap splices. 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.
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. 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-2016-9116.
Difference Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information
Paragraph 1.B., “Concurrent Requirements,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016, identifies Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260 as a concurrent service bulletin. However, this proposed AD would not require Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0260, as a concurrent service bulletin.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this proposed AD affects 332 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:
|Action||Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product||Cost on U.S. operators|
|Inspections||168 work-hours × $85 per hour = $14,280 per inspection cycle||$0||$14,280 per inspection cycle||$4,740,960 per inspection cycle.|
The size of the area that requires repair must be determined before material and work-hour costs can be estimated. Additionally, materials for repairs are operator supplied. Therefore, we cannot provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed 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.
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 Start Printed Page 66555distribution 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.
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- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
- Incorporation by reference
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
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-2016-9116; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-068-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
We must receive comments by November 14, 2016.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 767-200, -300, and -400ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.
(e) Unsafe Condition
This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) indicating that the fuselage skin lap splices are subject to widespread fatigue damage (WFD). We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracks at the fuselage skin lap splice, which can rapidly link up, possibly resulting in rapid decompression and loss of structural integrity of the airplane.
Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, unless already done.
(g) Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions
Except as specified by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016: Do external surface high frequency eddy current (HFEC), internal surface HFEC, and external surface low frequency eddy current (LFEC) inspections, as applicable, to detect cracks in the fuselage skin lap splices, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016. If any crack is found during any inspection required by this AD, before further flight, repair in accordance with Part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016. Repeat the inspections thereafter at the times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016, as applicable.
(h) Service Information Exception
Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, Revision 1, dated April 25, 2016, 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) Credit for Previous Actions
This paragraph provides credit for the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 767-53A0264, dated May 12, 2015.
(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)(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, 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) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (j)(4)(i) and (j)(4)(ii) of this AD 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
(1) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221.
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Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 16, 2016.
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-23082 Filed 9-27-16; 8:45 am]
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