[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 207 (Friday, October 25, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63855-63858]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-24812]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0863; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-178-AD; 
Amendment 39-17627; AD 2013-21-03]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; the Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain 
The Boeing Company Model 747-8F and 747-8 series airplanes. This AD 
requires a detailed inspection of the power control actuator (PCA) 
installation to determine if a bushing is installed, a general visual 
inspection between the horizontal stabilizer rear spar and the elevator 
front spar and between certain stabilizer stations for defects and 
damage, and corrective actions if necessary. This AD was prompted by a 
report of unusual noise coming from the left inboard elevator during a 
functional check of the ram air turbine system, and a determination 
that a bushing was not installed. We are issuing this AD to detect and 
correct non-installation of bushings. If the

[[Page 63856]]

bushings are not present, the stiffness of the load path will be 
decreased, which will cause wear of adjacent parts and increased 
freeplay of the elevator surfaces. Freeplay that exceeds acceptable 
limits could result in divergent flutter for certain maneuvers, which 
could lead to loss of controllability of the airplane.

DATES: This AD is effective November 12, 2013.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of November 12, 
2013.
    We must receive comments on this AD by December 9, 2013.

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: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket 
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE. Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    For service information identified in this AD, contact Boeing 
Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, P.O. Box 
3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; telephone 206-544-5000, 
extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. 
You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, 
Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425 
227-1221.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The street address for 
the Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. 
Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Narinder Luthra, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington 98057-3356; phone: (425) 917-6513; fax: (425) 917-6590; 
email: narinder.luthra@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We received a report of unusual noise coming from the left inboard 
elevator during a functional check of the ram air turbine system. When 
investigating the cause of the noise, the operator found too much 
freeplay in the left inboard elevator, which was traced to a missing 
bushing in the PCA installation. Another investigation found that the 
left inboard PCA had been disconnected from this airplane to replace 
the left elevator, which had been damaged before delivery. When the PCA 
was reconnected, however, the bushing was not installed. The operator 
did inspections of the PCA installation and of the PCA attachment lug 
assembly, and found no other defects or damage. This condition (if the 
bushing is not present), if not detected and corrected, could result in 
decreased stiffness of the load path, which will cause wear of adjacent 
parts and increased freeplay of the elevator surfaces. Freeplay that 
exceeds acceptable limits could result in divergent flutter for certain 
maneuvers, which could lead to loss of controllability of the airplane.

Relevant Service Information

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 
23, 2013. For information on the procedures and compliance times, see 
this service information at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for 
Docket No. FAA-2013-0863.

FAA's Determination

    We are issuing 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 these same type 
designs.

AD Requirements

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service 
information described previously, except as discussed under 
``Differences Between the AD and the Service Information.''
    The FAA worked in conjunction with industry, under the 
Airworthiness Directives Implementation Aviation Rulemaking Committee, 
to enhance the AD system. One enhancement was a new process for 
annotating which steps in the service information are required for 
compliance with an AD. Differentiating these steps from other tasks in 
the service information is expected to improve an owner's/operator's 
understanding of crucial AD requirements and help provide consistent 
judgment in AD compliance. The actions specified in the service 
information described previously include steps that are labeled as 
``RC'' (required for compliance) because these steps have a direct 
effect on detecting, preventing, resolving, or eliminating an 
identified unsafe condition.
    As noted in the specified service information, steps labeled as 
``RC'' must be done to comply with the AD. However, steps that are not 
labeled as ``RC'' are recommended. Those steps that are not labeled as 
``RC'' may be deviated from, done as part of other actions, or done 
using accepted methods different from those identified in the service 
information without obtaining approval of an alternative method of 
compliance (AMOC), provided the steps labeled as ``RC'' can be done and 
the airplane can be put back in a serviceable condition. Any 
substitutions or changes to steps labeled as ``RC'' will require 
approval of an AMOC.
    In addition, the phrase ``corrective actions'' is used in this AD. 
``Corrective actions'' are actions that correct or address any 
condition found. Corrective actions in an AD could include, for 
example, repairs.

Differences Between the AD and the Service Information

    Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 
23, 2013, specifies to contact the manufacturer for instructions on how 
to repair certain conditions, and indicates that this action is ``RC,'' 
this AD requires repairing those conditions in one of the following 
ways:
     In accordance with a method that we approve; or
     Using data that meet the certification basis of the 
airplane, and that have been approved by the Boeing Commercial 
Airplanes Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) whom we have 
authorized to make those findings.

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of 
this AD. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public justifies 
waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule because risk 
analysis indicated that urgent action is required. Any airplane that is 
missing a bushing in the elevator PCA installation is operating at an 
unacceptable level of risk. If the bushing

[[Page 63857]]

is not present, the stiffness of the load path will be decreased, which 
will cause wear of adjacent parts and increased freeplay of the 
elevator surfaces. Freeplay that exceeds acceptable limits could result 
in divergent flutter for certain maneuvers, which could lead to loss of 
controllability of the airplane. Therefore, we find that notice and 
opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good 
cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.

Comments Invited

    This AD is a final rule that involves requirements affecting flight 
safety and was not preceded by notice and an opportunity for public 
comment. However, we invite you to send any written data, views, or 
arguments about this AD. Send your comments to an address listed under 
the ADDRESSES section. Include the docket number FAA-2013-0863 and 
Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-178-AD at the beginning of your 
comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, 
economic, environmental, and energy aspects of this AD. We will 
consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this 
AD 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 AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 8 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  Cost on U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost           Parts cost      Cost per product      operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspection.......................  5 work-hours x $85                 N/A               $425             $3,400
                                    per hour = $425.
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    We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide 
cost estimates for the on-condition actions specified in this 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.

Regulatory Findings

    This AD would not have federalism implications under Executive 
Order 13132. This 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 this AD:
    (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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the 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

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2013-21-03 the Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17627; Docket No. FAA-
2013-0863; Directorate Identifier 2013-NM-178-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective November 12, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to the Boeing Company Model 747-8F and 747-8 
series airplanes, certificated in any category, as identified in 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 23, 2013.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association 
(ATA) of America Code 27, Flight Controls.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by a report of unusual noise coming from 
the left inboard elevator during a functional check of the ram air 
turbine system, and a determination that a bushing was not 
installed. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct non-
installation of bushings. If the bushings are not present, the 
stiffness of the load path will be decreased, which will cause wear 
of adjacent parts and increased freeplay of the elevator surfaces. 
Freeplay that exceeds acceptable limits could result in divergent 
flutter for certain maneuvers, which could lead to loss of 
controllability of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Inspections and Corrective Actions

    Except as required by paragraph (h)(1) of this AD, at the time 
specified in paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of Boeing Alert Service 
Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 23, 2013: Do a detailed 
inspection of the inboard elevator left and right power control 
actuator (PCA) installations to determine if a bushing is installed; 
and do a general visual inspection between the left and right 
horizontal stabilizer rear spar and the elevator front spar, and 
between stabilizer

[[Page 63858]]

station (STAB) (STA) 235 and 260 for defects and damage, and do all 
applicable corrective actions that are labeled as ``RC'' (Required 
for Compliance), in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions 
of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 23, 2013, 
except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD. Doing the steps 
specified in Parts 1 and 2 of the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 23, 2013, 
are required for compliance. Do all applicable corrective actions 
that are labeled as ``RC'' before further flight.

(h) Exceptions to Service Information Specifications

    (1) Where Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated 
August 23, 2013, specifies a compliance time ``after the original 
issue date of this service bulletin,'' this AD requires compliance 
within the specified compliance time after the effective date of 
this AD.
    (2) Although Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated 
August 23, 2013, specifies to contact Boeing for repair 
instructions, and indicates that action is ``RC'' (Required for 
Compliance), this AD requires repairing before further flight 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 Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
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 ACO, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in paragraph (j) 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 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, to make 
those findings. For a repair method to be approved, the repair must 
meet the certification basis of the airplane, and the approval must 
specifically refer to this AD.
    (4) Except as required by paragraph (h)(2) of this AD: If the 
service information contains steps that are labeled as ``RC'' 
(Required for Compliance), those steps must be done to comply with 
this AD; any steps that are not labeled as ``RC'' are recommended. 
Those steps that are not labeled as ``RC'' may be deviated from, 
done as part of other actions, or done using accepted methods 
different from those identified in the specified service information 
without obtaining approval of an AMOC, provided the steps labeled as 
``RC'' can be done and the airplane can be put back in a serviceable 
condition. Any substitutions or changes to steps labeled as ``RC'' 
require approval of an AMOC.

(j) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Narinder Luthra, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120S, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue 
SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; phone: (425) 917-6513; fax: 
(425) 917-6590; email: narinder.luthra@faa.gov.

(k) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 747-27A2515, dated August 23, 
2013.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) For Boeing service information identified in this AD, 
contact Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services 
Management, P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, WA 98124-2207; 
telephone 206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; Internet 
https://www.myboeingfleet.com.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Transport 
Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
425 227-1221.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Renton, Washington, on September 30, 2013.
Jeffrey E. Duven,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-24812 Filed 10-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P