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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 supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-16-05, which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. AD 2017-16-05 requires a one-time detailed visual inspection for discrepancies in the Krueger flap bullnose attachment hardware, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. Since we issued AD 2017-16-05, we received a report of a missing no. 2 Krueger flap bullnose hinge bolt from an airplane that was not included in the applicability of AD 2017-16-05. This proposed AD would add airplanes and an additional inspection to determine if any Krueger flap no. 1, 2, 3, or 4 has been replaced, and related investigative and corrective actions. Since this is a rotable parts issue, the applicability of this AD has been expanded beyond the airplanes listed in the related service bulletin to include all airplanes on which a Krueger flap bullnose may be installed. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by June 29, 2018.

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 NPRM, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-0409.

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-2018-0409; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this NPRM, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for Docket Operations (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:

Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3527; email: alan.pohl@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-2018-0409; Product Identifier 2017-NM-120-AD” at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM 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

We issued AD 2017-16-05, Amendment 39-18982 (82 FR 39344, August 18, 2017) (“AD 2017-16-05”), for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. AD 2017-16-05 requires a one-time detailed visual inspection for discrepancies in the Krueger flap bullnose attachment hardware, and related investigative and corrective actions, if necessary. AD 2017-16-05 resulted from a report of a Krueger flap bullnose departing an airplane during taxi, which caused damage to the wing structure and thrust reverser. We issued AD 2017-16-05 to detect and correct missing Krueger flap bullnose hardware. Such missing hardware could result in the Krueger flap bullnose departing the airplane during flight, which could damage empennage structure and lead to the inability to maintain continued safe flight and landing.

Actions Since AD 2017-16-05 Was Issued

Since we issued AD 2017-16-05, we have received a report of a missing no. 2 Krueger flap bullnose hinge bolt from an airplane that was not included in the applicability of AD 2017-16-05.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-57A1327, Revision 2, dated July 25, 2017 (“BASB 737-57A1327, R2”). This service information describes procedures for a one-time detailed visual inspection for discrepancies in the Krueger flap bullnose attachment hardware, and related investigative and corrective actions; and an inspection to determine if any Krueger flap no. 1, 2, 3, or 4 has been replaced, and related investigative and corrective actions.

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.

FAA's Determination

We are proposing this AD because we evaluated all the relevant information and determined the unsafe condition Start Printed Page 22421described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

Although this proposed AD does not explicitly restate the requirements of AD 2017-16-05, this proposed AD would retain certain requirements of AD 2017-16-05. Those requirements are referenced in the service information identified previously, which, in turn, is referenced in paragraph (g) of this proposed AD. This proposed AD would add airplanes and an additional inspection to determine if any Krueger flap no. 1, 2, 3, or 4 has been replaced, and applicable related investigative and corrective actions. This proposed AD would also require accomplishment of the actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in the Accomplishment Instructions of BASB 737-57A1327, R2, described previously, except as discussed under “Differences Between this Proposed AD and the Service Information.”

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-2018-0409.

Differences Between This Proposed AD and the Service Information

Because the affected parts identified in this NPRM are rotable parts, we have determined that these parts could later be installed on airplanes that were initially delivered with acceptable parts, thereby subjecting those airplanes to the unsafe condition. Therefore, while the effectivity of BASB 737-57A1327, R2 is limited to line numbers 1 through 6465 inclusive, the applicability of this proposed AD includes all The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. This difference has been coordinated with Boeing.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 1,814 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
Inspection of the Krueger flap bullnose hardware (1,495 airplanes) (retained actions from AD 2017-16-05)3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $255$0$255$381,225
Inspection to determine if any Krueger flap no. 1, 2, 3, or 4 has been replaced (1,814 airplanes) (new proposed action)3 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2550255462,570

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this proposed AD.

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 available 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.

This proposed AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the authority to issue ADs applicable to transport category airplanes and associated appliances to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

Regulatory Findings

We have 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 that the 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 removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-16-05, Amendment 39-18982 ( 82 FR 39344, August 18, 2017), and adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2018-0409; Product Identifier 2017-NM-120-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by June 29, 2018.Start Printed Page 22422

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2017-16-05, Amendment 39-18982 (82 FR 39344, August 18, 2017) (“AD 2017-16-05”).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes, certificated in any category, as specified in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this AD.

(1) Airplanes in Groups 1 and 2 as identified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-57A1327, Revision 2, dated July 25, 2017 (“BASB 737-57A1327, R2”).

(2) Airplanes in Group 3, as identified in BASB 737-57A1327, R2, except where this service bulletin specifies the groups as line numbers 6422 through 6465 inclusive, this AD specifies those groups as line number 6422 through any line number airplane with an original Certificate of Airworthiness or an original Export Certificate of Airworthiness dated on or before the effective date of this AD.

(3) All Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER series airplanes with an original Certificate of Airworthiness or an original Export Certificate of Airworthiness dated after the effective date of this AD.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 57, Wings.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by a report of a Krueger flap bullnose departing an airplane during taxi, which caused damage to the wing structure and thrust reverser, and a report of a missing no. 2 Krueger flap bullnose hinge bolt from an airplane that was not included in the effectivity of AD 2017-16-05. We are issuing this AD to address missing Krueger flap bullnose hardware. Such missing hardware could result in the Krueger flap bullnose departing the airplane during flight, which could damage empennage structure and lead to the inability to maintain continued safe flight and landing.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

For airplanes identified in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this AD: Except as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of BASB 737-57A1327, R2, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of BASB 737-57A1327, R2.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where BASB 737-57A1327, R2 uses the phrase “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using September 22, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-16-05).

(2) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where BASB 737-57A1327, R2 uses the phrase “the Revision 2 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

(i) Parts Installation Limitation

As of the effective date of this AD, no person may install a Krueger flap or Krueger flap bullnose on any airplane, unless the actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD have been accomplished on the Krueger flap bullnose.

(j) Credit for Previous Actions

(1) This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before September 22, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-16-05), using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-57A1327, dated May 20, 2016.

(2) This paragraph provides credit for the actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD, if those actions were performed before the effective date of this AD, using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-57A1327, Revision 1, dated September 28, 2016.

(k) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Seattle ACO Branch, 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 certification office, send it to the attention of the person identified in paragraph (l)(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 Branch, 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) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2017-16-05 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of BASB 737-57A1327, R2 that are required by paragraph (g) of this AD.

(5) For service information that contains steps that are labeled as RC, the provisions of paragraphs (k)(5)(i) and (k)(5)(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 substep is labeled “RC Exempt,” then the RC requirement is removed from that step or substep. An AMOC is required for any deviations to RC steps, including substeps and identified figures.

(ii) Operators may deviate from steps not labeled as RC by 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.

(l) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Alan Pohl, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3527; email: alan.pohl@faa.gov.

(2) For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Contractual & Data Services (C&DS), 2600 Westminster Blvd., MC 110-SK57, Seal Beach, CA 90740-5600; telephone: 562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206-231-3195.

Start Signature

Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on May 7, 2018.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-10213 Filed 5-14-18; 8:45 am]

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