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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).

Start Printed Page 64420

SUMMARY:

The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-26-10 which applies to certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. AD 2017-26-10 requires deactivating the spoiler control module relays and capping and stowing the associated wiring on certain airplanes. Since the FAA issued AD 2017-26-10, Boeing has developed wiring changes for certain spoiler control modules (SCMs), which will improve the lateral handling qualities of the airplane during approach and landing. This proposed AD would require repetitive operational tests of the spoiler inhibit function. For certain airplanes, this proposed AD would require installing a new relay bracket assembly, making changes to the wire bundles for certain SCMs, installing new SCMs, measuring the clearance between a wire bundle and the top of the new relay bracket assembly, and applicable on-condition actions. For a certain other airplane, this proposed AD would require changing certain wire bundles. 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 November 27, 2020.

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 https://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, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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-2020-0903.

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-2020-0903; 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, 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:

Katherine Venegas, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353; fax: 562-627-5210; email: Katherine.Venegas@faa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

The FAA invites you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting written comments, data, or views about this proposal. The most helpful comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. To ensure the docket does not contain duplicate comments, commenters should submit only one copy of the comments. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include “Docket No. FAA-2020-0903; Project Identifier AD-2020-00957-T” at the beginning of your comments.

Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR 11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, as well as a report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerning this proposed rulemaking. Before acting on this proposal, the FAA will consider all comments received by the closing date for comments. The FAA will consider comments filed after the comment period has closed if it is possible to do so without incurring expense or delay. The FAA may change this NPRM because of those comments.

Confidential Business Information

CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this NPRM contain commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to this NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing CBI as “PROPIN.” The FAA will treat such marked submissions as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Katherine Venegas, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353; fax: 562-627-5210; email: Katherine.Venegas@faa.gov. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.

Discussion

The FAA issued AD 2017-26-10, Amendment 39-19141 (82 FR 61675, December 29, 2017) (“AD 2017-26-10”), for certain The Boeing Company Model 757 airplanes. AD 2017-26-10 requires deactivating the spoiler control module relays and capping and stowing the associated wiring on certain airplanes. AD 2017-26-10 resulted from a report of an uncommanded spoiler movement during flap configuration just before landing. The FAA issued AD 2017-26-10 to address a failure condition that can cause an uncommanded spoiler movement resulting in loss of controllability of the airplane during the approach phase of flight.

Actions Since AD 2017-26-10 Was Issued

Since the FAA issued AD 2017-26-10, Boeing has developed wiring changes for SCMs M530 and M531. These wiring changes will prevent control wheel inputs to spoiler pairs 1 and 12 and 5 and 8 when the flaps are extended to a landing configuration position (flaps in the detent 25 or detent 30 position). The FAA has determined that this change will improve the lateral handling qualities of the airplane during approach and landing and it is considered the final action to address the identified unsafe condition.

Related IBR Under 1 CFR Part 51

The FAA reviewed Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020. The service information describes procedures for installing a new relay bracket assembly, Start Printed Page 64421making changes to the wire bundles for the SCMs, installing new SCMs, measuring the clearance between a wire bundle and the top of new relay bracket assembly, changing certain wire bundles, repetitive operational tests of the spoiler inhibit function, and applicable on-condition actions. On-condition actions include installing a new protective sleeve, heat shrinkable to the wire bundle, doing a landing configurations warning module landing flap tests, and doing a system test for the SCMs. 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.

Minimum Equipment List (MEL) Provision

The FAA allows operators to utilize a MEL for time-limited operation with certain equipment inoperative, after which the system must be fully restored. (See 14 CFR 91.213, 121.628, 125.201, and 129.14.) This proposed AD would continue to allow use of an existing FAA-approved MEL even if the spoiler inhibit function (SIF) system is inoperable, so long as the operator's existing FAA-approved MEL has a provision to allow for this inoperability.

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 retain none of the requirements of AD 2017-26-10. This proposed AD would also require accomplishment of the actions identified in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020, 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-2020-0903.

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 626 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
Installations, measurement, and wire bundle changes (groups 1-22; 625 airplanes)105 work-hours × $85 per hour = $8,925Up to $7,230Up to $16,155Up to $10,096,875.
Wire bundle change (group 23; 1 airplane)9 work-hours × $85 per hour = $765$160$925$925.
Operational test (all groups; 626 airplanes)5 work-hours × $85 per hour = $425 per test cycle0425 per test cycle266,050 per test cycle.

The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary on-condition actions 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 Costs

ActionLabor costParts costCost per product
Installation and testing8 work-hour × $85 per hour = $680$ *$840
* The FAA has received no definitive data on the parts cost for the on-condition installation 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.

Regulatory Findings

The FAA has determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism Start Printed Page 64422implications 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) 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:

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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) 2017-26-10, Amendment 39-19141 ( 82 FR 61675, December 29, 2017), and adding the following new AD:

End Amendment Part

The Boeing Company: Docket No. FAA-2020-0903; Project Identifier AD-2020-00957-T.

(a) Comments Due Date

The FAA must receive comments on this AD action by November 27, 2020.

(b) Affected ADs

This AD replaces AD 2017-26-10, Amendment 39-19141 (82 FR 61675, December 29, 2017).

(c) Applicability

This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 757-200, -200PF, -200CB, and -300 series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020.

(d) Subject

Air Transport Association (ATA) of America Code 27, Flight controls.

(e) Unsafe Condition

This AD was prompted by reports of unwanted lateral oscillations during landing operations, and the development of wiring changes for certain spoiler control modules (SCMs), which will improve the lateral handling qualities of the airplane during approach and landing. The FAA is issuing this AD to address unwanted lateral oscillations during landing operations, which could cause over-control of the airplane and subsequent lateral pilot induced oscillation, which could affect continued safe flight and landing.

(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 Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020, do all applicable actions identified in, and in accordance with, the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020.

Note 1 to paragraph (g):

Guidance for accomplishing the actions required by this AD can be found in Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 757-27A0158, dated July 9, 2020, which is referred to in Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

Where Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB, dated July 9, 2020, uses the phrase “the original issue date of the Requirements Bulletin 757-27A0158 RB,” this AD requires using “the effective date of this AD.”

(i) Minimum Equipment List (MEL)

In the event that the spoiler inhibit function (SIF) system as modified by this AD is inoperable, an airplane may be operated as specified in the operator's existing FAA-approved MEL, provided the operator's existing FAA-approved MEL includes provisions that address the modified SIF system.

(j) 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 responsible Flight Standards 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-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 responsible Flight Standards 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) AMOCs approved previously for AD 2017-26-10 are approved as AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of this AD.

(k) Related Information

(1) For more information about this AD, contact Katherine Venegas, Aerospace Engineer, Cabin Safety and Environmental Systems Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5353; fax: 562-627-5210; email: Katherine.Venegas@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, Airworthiness Products Section, Operational Safety 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 on September 30, 2020.

Gaetano A. Sciortino,

Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Compliance & Airworthiness Division, Aircraft Certification Service.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-22457 Filed 10-9-20; 8:45 am]

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