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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 certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report of an aborted takeoff because the rudder pedals were not operating correctly. Investigation revealed a protruding screw in the rudder pedal heel rest adjacent to the pedals. This AD requires a torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of August 23, 2017.

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-2016-9506.

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-2016-9506; 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:

Kelly McGuckin, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6490; fax: 425-917-6590; email: Kelly.McGuckin@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 certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016 (81 FR 92753). The NPRM was prompted by a report of an aborted takeoff because the rudder pedals were not operating correctly. Investigation revealed a protruding screw in the rudder pedal heel rest adjacent to the pedals. It was determined that the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals might not have been properly torqued. The NPRM proposed to require a torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct a protruding screw in the cover assembly of the heel rest of a rudder pedal. A protruding screw could restrict rudder pedal motion and reduce differential braking control during takeoff or landing, which could cause a high speed runway excursion.

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 to each comment.

Support for the NPRM

Boeing, Air Line Pilots Association, International, and Tyler Myers supported the intent of the NPRM.

Request To Allow Credit for Previously Accomplished Actions

United Airlines noted that the NPRM did not address whether or not the final rule would allow operators to take credit for accomplishment of the actions in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 1, dated August 15, 2016 (“BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1”), if completed prior to the effective date of the final rule. We infer that the commenter is requesting that the final rule include a statement that accomplishment of the actions specified in BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1, prior to the effective date of the final rule is acceptable for compliance with the requirements of the final rule.

We agree with the commenter that operators should be able to take credit for accomplishment of the actions in BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1, prior to the effective date of this AD. This allowance was provided in paragraph (f) of the proposed AD in the statement “Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified unless already done.” However, since the NPRM was issued, Boeing has published, and we have reviewed, Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, Start Printed Page 330082017 (“BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 2”). BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 2, provides clarification of the actions described in the work instructions by providing supplementary details and including additional descriptive figures. No additional work is necessary and the scope of this AD is not expanded.

We have revised paragraphs (c), (g), and (h) of this AD to refer to BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 2. We have also added paragraph (i) to this AD to give credit for actions accomplished using the work instructions in BASB 737-25A1732, Revision 1; and redesignated the subsequent paragraphs accordingly.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

Aviation Partners Boeing stated that the installation of winglets per Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST00830SE does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions.

We agree with the commenter that STC ST00830SE does not affect the accomplishment of the manufacturer's service instructions. Therefore, the installation of STC ST00830SE does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by this AD. We have not changed this AD in this regard.

Conclusion

We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting this AD as proposed, except for 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.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017. The service information describes procedures for a torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, and corrective action. 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 1,187 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
Torque check2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170$0$170$201,790

We have received no definitive data that will 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

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

2017-14-13 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18957; Docket No. FAA-2016-9506; Directorate Identifier 2016-NM-090-AD.

(a) Effective Date

This AD is effective August 23, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 25, Equipment and Furnishings.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by a report of an aborted takeoff because the rudder pedals were not operating correctly. Investigation revealed a protruding screw in the rudder pedal heel rest adjacent to the pedals. It was determined that the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals might Start Printed Page 33009not have been properly torqued. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct a protruding screw in the cover assembly of the heel rest of a rudder pedal. A protruding screw could restrict rudder pedal motion and reduce differential braking control during takeoff or landing, which could cause a high speed runway excursion.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Torque Check

Within 21 months after the effective date of this AD: Do a one-time torque check of the screws in the cover assembly of the heel rest for both the Captain and the First Officer's rudder pedals, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

(h) Corrective Action

If the results of the torque check required by paragraph (g) of this AD indicate that any screw does not hold torque to the required value, before further flight, replace the affected screw and associated nutplate, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

(i) Credit for Actions Accomplished Previously

This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 1, dated August 15, 2016.

(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. If a step or sub-step is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or sub-step. 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 Kelly McGuckin, Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, FAA, Seattle ACO, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057-3356; phone: 425-917-6490; fax: 425-917-6590; email: Kelly.McGuckin@faa.gov.

(2) Service information identified in this AD that is not incorporated by reference is available 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.

(i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-25A1732, Revision 2, dated April 13, 2017.

(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 June 29, 2017.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-14584 Filed 7-18-17; 8:45 am]

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