Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by reports of cracks of the upper splice fittings. This proposed AD would require repetitive detailed inspections and open hole high frequency eddy current (HFEC) inspections of the upper splice fittings for cracks and applicable on-condition actions. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
The FAA must receive comments on this proposed AD by February 14, 2020.
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 https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0990.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0990; 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.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3520; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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-2019-0990; Product Identifier 2019-NM-122-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 received, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The FAA will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact received about this proposed AD.
The FAA has received reports of cracks of the upper splice fittings at station (STA) 2598. There have been a total of seven cracks reported on the upper splice fittings on six different airplanes. During accomplishment of Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2473, an operator reported a crack approximately 0.30 inches long at a fastener hole in the splice fitting at STA 2598. The crack was in the outboard flange at a location which is outside of the area inspected in accordance with Boeing Service Bulletin 747-53A2473. The airplane had accumulated 112,500 flight hours and 18,784 flight cycles when the crack was found. Ground spoiler buffet loading contributes significantly to maximum fatigue damage in the area. This condition, if not addressed, could result in undetected fatigue cracks of the bulkhead splice fitting, which could lead to failure in the critical attach structure and loss of the horizontal stabilizer, and adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 2019. The service information describes procedures for repetitive detailed inspections and open Start Printed Page 72261hole HFEC inspections of the left and right upper splice fittings for cracks and applicable on-condition actions. On-condition actions include repair.
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.
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 Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 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 https://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2019-0990.
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 “required for compliance” (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 125 airplanes of U.S. registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed AD:
Estimated Costs for Required Actions
|Action||Labor cost||Parts cost||Cost per product||Cost on U.S. operators|
|Repetitive detailed inspections and open hole HFEC inspections||5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 per inspection cycle||$0||$425 per inspection cycle||$53,125 per inspection cycle.|
The FAA has received no definitive data that would enable the agency to provide cost estimates for the on-condition actions 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.
The FAA has 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.
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- Air transportation
- Aviation safety
- Incorporation by reference
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 14 CFR part 39 as follows:
PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
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1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: End Amendment Part
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2. The FAA amends § 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD): End Amendment Part
The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2019-0990; Product Identifier 2019-NM-122-AD.
(a) Comments Due Date
The FAA must receive comments by February 14, 2020.
(b) Affected ADs
This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747-100B SUD, 747-200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-300, 747-400, 747-400D, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, certificated in any category.
Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 53, Fuselage.Start Printed Page 72262
(e) Unsafe Condition
This AD was prompted by reports of cracks of the upper splice fittings. The FAA is issuing this AD to address cracks of the upper splice fittings, which could result in undetected fatigue cracks of the bulkhead splice fitting, lead to failure in the critical attach structure and loss of the horizontal stabilizer, and adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane.
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 Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 2019, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 2019.
Note 1 to paragraph (g):
Guidance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD can be found in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-53A2899, dated April 5, 2019, which is referred to in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 2019.
(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications
(1) For purposes of determining compliance with the requirements of this AD: Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 2019, uses the phrase “the original issue date of Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”
(2) Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 747-53A2899 RB, dated April 5, 2019, specifies contacting Boeing for repair instructions: This AD requires doing the repair 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, 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 Bill Ashforth, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Seattle ACO Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; phone and fax: 206-231-3520; email: email@example.com.
(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.
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Issued in Des Moines, Washington, on December 17, 2019.
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-27929 Filed 12-30-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P