Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

This document has a comment period that ends in 13 days. (09/06/2019) Submit a formal comment

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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 787 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports that the nose landing gear (NLG) retracted while the airplane was on the ground with weight on wheels, due to the installation of a NLG downlock pin in an incorrect location. This proposed AD would require installing an insert to prevent installation of the pin in the incorrect location. 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 September 6, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR Start Printed Page 3535311.43 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-2019-0494.

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-2019-0494; 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 is listed above. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Allen Rauschendorfer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3528; email: allen.rauschendorfer@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-2019-0494; Product Identifier 2019-NM-051-AD” at the beginning of your comments. The agency specifically invites comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this NPRM. The agency 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

In March of 2018, the FAA received a report indicating that the NLG on a Boeing Model 787-8 retracted on the ground, with weight on the airplane's wheels, while undergoing maintenance testing. Although no maintenance personnel were injured, the incident resulted in major structural damage to the forward fuselage of the airplane. The NLG retraction occurred due to the NLG downlock pin being installed in an incorrect location: The apex pin inner bore of the NLG lock link assembly, which is adjacent to the correct location for the NLG downlock pin. A similar retraction occurred in March of 2016 on a Boeing Model 787-8 airplane with passengers aboard, resulting in substantial damage to the aircraft and minor injuries to passengers. In addition, we received a safety report from an operator's maintenance technician arising from the March 2018 incident that described the risk of an inadvertent NLG retraction due to accidentally installing the NLG downlock pin in the apex pin inner bore of the NLG lock link assembly. We considered the reports of NLG retraction and the safety report in our risk assessment. Accidentally installing the NLG downlock pin in the apex pin inner bore of the NLG lock link assembly, if not addressed, could result in the NLG retracting on the ground, possibly causing serious injuries to personnel and passengers and substantial damage to the airplane.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Boeing Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019. The service information describes procedures for installing an insert into the apex pin inner bore of the NLG lock link assembly to prevent the NLG downlock pin from being inserted in the incorrect location.

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 agency 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 Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019, 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-2019-0494.

Costs of Compliance

The FAA estimates that this proposed AD would affect 73 airplanes of U.S. registry. The agency estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:

Estimated Costs for Required Actions

ActionLabor costParts costCost per productCost on U.S. operators
Install insert2 work-hours × $85 per hour = $170$1,820$1,990$145,270
Start Printed Page 35354

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-2019-0494; Product Identifier 2019-NM-051-AD.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments by September 6, 2019.

(b) Affected ADs

None.

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 787-8, 787-9, and 787-10 airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 32, Landing gear.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports that the nose landing gear (NLG) retracted on the ground, with weight on the airplane's wheels, due to the incorrect installation of a NLG downlock pin in the apex pin inner bore of the NLG lock link assembly. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the NLG downlock pin being incorrectly installed in the apex pin inner bore of the NLG lock link assembly, which could result in the NLG retracting on the ground, possibly causing serious injuries to personnel and passengers and substantial damage to the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Required Actions

Except as specified by paragraph (h) of this AD: At the applicable times specified in the “Compliance” paragraph of Boeing Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019.

Note 1 to paragraph (g): Guidance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD can be found in Boeing Service Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019, which is referred to in Boeing Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB, Issue 001, dated March 12, 2019, uses the phrase “the Issue 001 date of Requirements Bulletin B787-81205-SB320040-00 RB,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

(i) 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 (j)(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 Company 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.

(j) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Allen Rauschendorfer, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3528; email: allen.rauschendorfer@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 July 11, 2019.

Suzanne Masterson,

Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-15519 Filed 7-22-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-13-P