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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:

The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracks in the fuselage frame web at body station (STA) 1640. This proposed AD would require, depending on configuration, a general visual inspection for any previous repair, such as any reinforcing repair or local frame replacement repair, repetitive open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections for any crack of the fuselage frame web fastener holes, on the left and right side of the airplane, and applicable on-condition actions. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES:

The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by August 5, 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 Boeing 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; phone: 562-797-1717; internet: https://www.myboeingfleet.com.

For Aviation Partners Boeing service information identified in this NPRM, contact Aviation Partners Boeing, 2811 South 102nd St., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98168; phone: 206-830-7699; fax: 206-767-0535; email: leng@aviationpartners.com; internet: http://www.aviationpartnersboeing.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. Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0437.

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-2019-0437; or in person at Docket Operations Start Printed Page 29103between 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 is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Peter Jarzomb, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5234; fax: 562-627-5210; email: peter.jarzomb@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites 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-2019-0437; Product Identifier 2019-NM-074-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The FAA specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this NPRM because of those comments.

The FAA will post all comments, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact the agency receives about this proposed AD.

Discussion

The FAA has received reports of cracks found on several airplanes while performing inspections in an area adjacent to the inspection areas specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0108. The cracks reported were not considered in the inspections specified in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0108 because the crack initiation sites, at issue here, were discovered after the release of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0108. The airplanes had between 20,536 and 39,850 total flight cycles at the time of reporting. Three of the cracks were confirmed to have initiated at a fastener common to the STA 1640 fuselage frame web and intercostal tee clip at stringer 14, on the left side. The fuselage frame web cracking is attributed to fatigue caused by flight loads and fuselage pressurization with higher than predicted stresses. This condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed the following service information.

  • Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019.
  • Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018.

The service information describes procedures for, depending on configuration, a general visual inspection for any previous repair, such as any reinforcing repair or local frame replacement repair, repetitive open hole HFEC inspections for any crack of the fuselage frame web fastener holes, on the left and right side of the airplane, and applicable on-condition actions. On-condition actions include installation of fasteners and repair. These documents are distinct since they apply to different airplane models in different configurations.

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

The FAA is proposing this AD because the FAA 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 in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD.

This proposed AD would also require accomplishment of the actions identified as “RC” (required for compliance) in the Accomplishment Instructions of APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019, described previously, except for any differences identified as exceptions in the regulatory text of this proposed AD. Please note that the initial compliance times for the airplanes identified in APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019, range from within 500 flight cycles after the effective date of this AD, to within 16,000 flight cycles after the installation of the local frame replacement or before 50,000 total flight cycles, whichever occurs first depending on configuration. The repetitive intervals range from 5,200 flight cycles to 9,900 flight cycles, depending on configuration.

For information on the procedures and compliance times, see Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0437.

Explanation of Requirements Bulletin

The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the Airworthiness Directive Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (AD ARC), to enhance the AD system. One enhancement is a process for annotating which steps in the service information are RC with an AD. Boeing has implemented this RC concept into Boeing service bulletins.

In an effort to further improve the quality of ADs and AD-related Boeing service information, a joint process improvement initiative was worked between the FAA and Boeing. The initiative resulted in the development of a new process in which the service information more clearly identifies the actions needed to address the unsafe condition in the “Accomplishment Instructions.” The new process results in a Boeing Requirements Bulletin, which contains only the actions needed to address the unsafe condition (i.e., only the RC actions).

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 475 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
General Visual Inspection35 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,975$0$2,975$1,413,125.
Start Printed Page 29104
Open Hole HFEC Inspection35 work-hours × $85 per hour = $2,975 per inspection cycle0$2,975 per inspection cycle$1,413,125 per inspection cycle.

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition fastener installations that would be required. The FAA has no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these on-condition actions:

Estimated Costs of On-Condition Fastener Installations

Labor costParts costCost per product
1 work-hour × $85 per hour = $85$*$85 *
* The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the parts cost of the on-condition fastener installation specified in this proposed AD.

The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the on-condition repair 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.

The FAA is 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

The FAA 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) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and

(3) 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-2019-0437; Product Identifier 2019-NM-074-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by August 5, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of cracks in the fuselage frame web at body station (STA) 1640. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracks in the fuselage frame web at STA 1640, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

(1) For all airplanes except those identified in paragraph (g)(2) of this AD: Except as specified by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable times specified in the “Compliance” paragraph of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018.

Note 1 to paragraphs (g)(1) and (g)(2):

Guidance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD can be found in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-53A0112, dated November 16, 2018, which is referred to in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018.

(2) For airplanes on which Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) blended or scimitar winglets are installed in accordance with Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) ST01518SE: Except as specified by paragraph (h) of this AD, at the applicable times Start Printed Page 29105specified in paragraph 1.E., “Compliance” of APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, uses the phrase “the original issue date of Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD,” except where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, uses the phrase “the original issue date of Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB” in a note or flag note.

(2) Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-53A0112 RB, dated November 16, 2018, specifies contacting Boeing for repair instructions or for alternative inspections: This AD requires doing the repair, or doing the alternative inspections and applicable on-condition actions using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(3) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019, uses the phrase “the original issue date of this service bulletin,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD,” except where APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019, uses the phrase “the original issue date of this Service Bulletin” in a note or flag note.

(4) Where APB Alert Service Bulletin AP757-53-002, Revision 2, dated April 11, 2019, specifies contacting Boeing for repair instructions or for alternative inspections: This AD requires doing the repair, or doing the alternative inspections and applicable on-condition actions using a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (i) of this AD.

(i) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

(1) The Manager, Los Angeles 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 (j)(1) of this AD. Information may be emailed to: 9-ANM-LAACO-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 Company Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the Manager, Los Angeles 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 specified by paragraph (h) of this AD: For service information that contains steps that are labeled as Required for Compliance (RC), the provisions of paragraphs (i)(4)(i) and (i)(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.

(j) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Peter Jarzomb, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5234; fax: 562-627-5210; email: peter.jarzomb@faa.gov.

(2) For Boeing 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.

(3) For Aviation Partners Boeing service information identified in this AD, contact Aviation Partners Boeing, 2811 South 102nd St., Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98168; phone: 206-830-7699; fax: 206-767-3355; email: leng@aviationpartners.com; internet: http://www.aviationpartnersboeing.com.

(4) 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 June 10, 2019.

Michael Kaszycki,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-13047 Filed 6-20-19; 8:45 am]

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