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Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 62741

AGENCY:

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

SUMMARY:

We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracks caused by corrosion of the edge of the bore of the spot face and corrosion of the lug bore of certain side-strut support fitting lugs. This proposed AD would require repetitive detailed inspections of the left and right side-strut support fitting lugs with bushings installed for any corrosion, any crack, or any severed lug; repetitive detailed and high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the left and right side-strut support fitting lugs with bushings removed for any corrosion or any crack; and applicable on-condition actions. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

We must receive comments on this proposed AD by January 22, 2019.

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 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. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2018-1004.

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-2018-1004; 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-2018-1004; Product Identifier 2018-NM-106-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 have received reports of cracks caused by corrosion of the edge of the bore of the spot face and corrosion of the lug bore of the body station (BS) 685 side-strut support fitting lugs. This condition, if not addressed, could result in sudden loss of the side-strut support fitting joint and main landing gear attachment to the airplane, resulting in the collapse of a main landing gear.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

We reviewed Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018. This service information describes procedures for repetitive detailed inspections of the left and right side-strut support fitting lugs at BS 685 with bushings installed for any corrosion, any crack, or any severed lug; repetitive detailed and HFEC inspections of the left and right side-strut support fitting lugs at BS 685 with bushings removed for any corrosion or any crack; and applicable on-condition actions. On-condition actions include, among other things, inspections, corrosion removal, and a preventative modification. Doing the repetitive detailed and HFEC inspections of the side-strut support fitting lugs at BS 685 with bushings removed terminates the repetitive detailed inspections of the side-strut support fitting lugs at BS 685 with bushings installed. 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 described previously is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.

Proposed AD Requirements

This proposed AD would require accomplishment of the actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

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-2018-1004.

Costs of Compliance

We estimate that this proposed AD affects 302 airplanes of U.S. registry. We estimate the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:Start Printed Page 62742

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Repetitive detailed inspection of left and right side lugs with bushings installed17 work-hours × $85 per hour = $1,445 per inspection cycle$0$1,445 per inspection cycle$436,390 per inspection cycle.
Repetitive detailed and HFEC inspections of left and right side lugs with bushings removed29 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,465 per inspection cycle0$2,465 per inspection cycle$744,430 per inspection cycle.

We estimate the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions that would be required. We have no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Actions

Labor costParts costCost per product
Up to 18 work-hour × $85 per hour = $1,530 per inspection cycleUnknownUp to $1,530 per inspection cycle.

We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide parts cost estimates for the on-condition inspections and repairs 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.

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 to the Director of the System Oversight Division.

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-2018-1004; Product Identifier 2018-NM-106-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

We must receive comments by January 22, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks caused by corrosion of the edge of the bore of the spot face and corrosion of the lug bore of the body station (BS) 685 side-strut support fitting lugs. We are issuing this AD to address cracks caused by corrosion, which could result in sudden loss of the side-strut support fitting joint and main landing gear attachment to the airplane, resulting in the collapse of a main landing gear.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Actions for Group 7

For airplanes identified as Group 7 in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018: Within 120 days after the effective date of this AD, inspect the left and right side-strut support fitting lugs at BS 685 and do all applicable on-condition actions using a method Start Printed Page 62743approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(h) Required Actions for Groups 1 Through 6

For airplanes identified as Groups 1 through 6 in Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018, except as specified in paragraph (i) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance,” of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018, do all applicable actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018.

(i) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018, uses the phrase “the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

(2) Where Boeing Service Bulletin 737-53-1246, Revision 1, dated May 30, 2018, specifies contacting Boeing for repair instructions or for work instructions: This AD requires doing the repair or the work instructions and doing applicable on-condition actions using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (j) of this AD.

(j) 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 (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 Branch, FAA, 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) 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) 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 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 November 23, 2018.

John P. Piccola,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-26361 Filed 12-4-18; 8:45 am]

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