[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 21, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14429-14433]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05162]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0129; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-020-AD; 
Amendment 39-18825; AD 2017-06-01]
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 superseding Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2017-03-04, 
which applied to all The Boeing Company Model 737-500 series airplanes. 
AD 2017-03-04 required inspections to detect cracks in the fuselage 
skin panels, permanent repairs of time-limited repairs, skin panel 
replacement, and related investigative and corrective actions if 
necessary. This AD reduces the applicability of AD 2017-03-04. This AD 
was prompted by a determination that airplanes were inadvertently 
included in the applicability of AD 2017-03-04. We are

[[Page 14430]]

issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective April 5, 2017.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 28, 
2017 (82 FR 11140, February 21, 2017).
    We must receive comments on this AD by May 5, 2017.

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 service information identified in this final rule, 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 Airplane 
Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the 
availability of this material at the FAA, call 425-227-1221. It is also 
available on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching 
for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0129.

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-2017-
0129; 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: Jennifer Tsakoumakis, Aerospace 
Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft 
Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 
90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5264; fax: 562-627-5210; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Discussion

    On January 31, 2017, we issued AD 2017-03-04, Amendment 39-18795 
(82 FR 11140, February 21, 2017) (``AD 2017-03-04''), for all The 
Boeing Company Model 737-500 series airplanes. AD 2017-03-04 required 
inspections to detect cracks in the fuselage skin panels, permanent 
repairs of time-limited repairs, skin panel replacement, and related 
investigative and corrective actions if necessary. AD 2017-03-04 
resulted from an evaluation by the design approval holder (DAH) that 
indicates the fuselage skin is subject to widespread fatigue damage 
(WFD), and reports of cracks at the chem-milled steps in the fuselage 
skin. We issued AD 2017-03-04 to detect and correct cracking on the aft 
lower lobe fuselage skins, which could result in rapid decompression of 
the airplane.

Actions Since AD 2017-03-04 Was Issued

    Since we issued AD 2017-03-04, we determined that airplanes were 
inadvertently included in the applicability of AD 2017-03-04. AD 2017-
03-04 superseded AD 2012-16-07, Amendment 39-17154 (77 FR 48423, August 
14, 2012) (``AD 2012-16-07''), which applied to certain The Boeing 
Company Model 737-500 series airplanes. The identified unsafe condition 
only applies to the airplanes identified in AD 2012-16-07 and, 
therefore, the applicability of AD 2017-03-04 should not have included 
additional airplanes.
    The affected airplanes are identified in Boeing Special Attention 
Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2015 (which is 
referred to as the appropriate source of service information for 
accomplishing the actions required by AD 2017-03-04). In order to 
correct the applicability, we have referred to Boeing Special Attention 
Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2015, in 
paragraph (c)(1) of this AD. We are issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, 
Revision 1, dated June 30, 2015. The service information describes 
procedures for inspections to detect cracks in the fuselage skin 
panels, permanent repairs of time-limited repairs, skin panel 
replacement, and related investigative and corrective actions. 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

    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 the same type design.

AD Requirements

    This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service 
information described previously, except as discussed under 
``Differences Between this AD and the Service Information.'' This AD 
also reduces the applicability of AD 2017-03-04. 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-2017-
0129.
    The phrase ``related investigative actions'' is used in this AD. 
Related investigative actions are follow-on actions that (1) are 
related to the primary action, and (2) further investigate the nature 
of any condition found. Related investigative actions in an AD could 
include, for example, inspections.
    The phrase ``corrective actions'' is used in this AD. Corrective 
actions correct or address any condition found. Corrective actions in 
an AD could include, for example, repairs.

Differences Between This AD and the Service Information

    Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, Revision 1, 
dated June 30, 2015, specifies to contact the manufacturer for 
instructions on how to repair certain conditions and also to obtain 
certain work instructions, but this AD requires repairing those 
conditions and also to obtain those work instructions 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.

[[Page 14431]]

FAA's Justification and Determination of the Effective Date

    We determined that airplanes were inadvertently included in the 
applicability of AD 2017-03-04, which applies to all Model 737-500 
series airplanes. However, only airplanes identified in Boeing Special 
Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, Revision 1, dated June 30, 
2015, are affected by the identified unsafe condition. The actions 
required by this AD are not required to be done on airplanes that are 
not identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-
1315, Revision 1, dated June 30, 2015. Therefore, we are superseding AD 
2017-03-04 to correct the applicability. We find that notice and 
opportunity for prior public comment are unnecessary 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-2017-0129 and 
Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-020-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 33 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
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inspections (actions retained      Up to 1,538 work-                $0  Up to $130,730 per   Up to $4,314,090
 from AD 2017-03-04).               hours x $85 per                      inspection cycle.    per inspection
                                    hour = $130,730                                           cycle.
                                    per inspection
                                    cycle.
Skin panel replacement (action     688 work-hours x             96,000  $154,480...........  $5,097,840.
 retained from AD 2017-03-04).      $85 per hour =
                                    $58,480.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary repairs that 
would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have no 
way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these 
repairs:

                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Action                     Labor cost         Parts cost               Cost per product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Time-limited repair...............  24 work-hours x $85            \(1)\  $2,040.
                                     per hour = $2,040.
Permanent repair..................  31 work-hours x $85            \(1)\  $2,635.
                                     per hour = $2,635.
Permanent repair inspection.......  4 work-hours x $85             \(1)\  $340 per inspection cycle.
                                     per hour = $340 per
                                     inspection cycle.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ We have received no definitive data that would enable us to provide parts 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 will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will 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 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 amends 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.

[[Page 14432]]

Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by removing Airworthiness Directive (AD) 
2017-03-04, Amendment 39-18795 (82 FR 11140, February 21, 2017), and 
adding the following new AD:

2017-06-01 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-18825; Docket No. FAA-
2017-0129; Directorate Identifier 2017-NM-020-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective April 5, 2017.

(b) Affected ADs

    This AD replaces AD 2017-03-04, Amendment 39-18795 (82 FR 11140, 
February 21, 2017) (``AD 2017-03-04'').

(c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to The Boeing Company Model 737-500 series 
airplanes, certificated in any category; as identified in Boeing 
Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, Revision 1, dated 
June 30, 2015 (``SASB 737-53-1315 R1'').
    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) 
ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/
rgstc.nsf/0/ebd1cec7b301293e86257cb30045557a/$FILE/ST01219SE.pdf) 
does not affect the ability to accomplish the actions required by 
this AD. Therefore, for airplanes on which STC ST01219SE is 
installed, a ''change in product'' alternative method of compliance 
(AMOC) approval request is not necessary to comply with the 
requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

(d) Subject

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

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by an evaluation by the design approval 
holder (DAH) that indicates the fuselage skin is subject to 
widespread fatigue damage (WFD), and reports of cracks at the chem-
milled steps in the fuselage skin. We are issuing this AD to detect 
and correct cracking on the aft lower lobe fuselage skins, which 
could result in rapid decompression of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Retained Inspections, Related Investigative and Corrective Actions, 
With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (g) of AD 
2017-03-04, with no changes. At the applicable times specified in 
table 1 of paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of SASB 737-53-1315 R1, 
except as required by paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of this AD: Do 
the applicable inspections to detect cracks in the fuselage skin 
panels; and do all applicable related investigative and corrective 
actions; in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of SASB 
737-53-1315 R1, except as required by paragraphs (h)(3) and (h)(4) 
of this AD. Do all applicable related investigative and corrective 
actions before further flight. Repeat the applicable inspections 
thereafter at the applicable intervals specified in SASB 737-53-1315 
R1. Accomplishment of a repair in accordance with ``Part 3: Repair'' 
of the Accomplishment Instructions of SASB 737-53-1315 R1, except as 
required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, is terminating action for 
the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph at the 
repaired locations only.

(h) Retained Exceptions to SASB 737-53-1315 R1, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the service information exceptions 
specified in paragraph (h) of AD 2017-03-04, with no changes.
    (1) Where SASB 737-53-1315 R1, specifies compliance times 
``after the Revision 1 date of this service bulletin,'' this AD 
requires compliance within the specified compliance times ``after 
March 28, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-03-04).''
    (2) The Condition column of table 1 of Paragraph 1.E., 
``Compliance,'' of SASB 737-53-1315 R1, refers to airplanes in 
certain configurations ``as of the issue date of Revision 1 of this 
service bulletin.'' However, this AD applies to airplanes in the 
specified configurations ``as of March 28, 2017 (the effective date 
of AD 2017-03-04).''
    (3) Where SASB 737-53-1315 R1, specifies contacting Boeing for 
repair instructions or work instructions, before further flight, 
repair or perform the work instructions using a method approved in 
accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (m) of this 
AD, except as required by paragraph (h)(4) of this AD.
    (4) For airplanes on which an operator has a record that a skin 
panel was replaced with a production skin panel before 53,000 total 
flight cycles: At the applicable time for the next inspection, as 
specified in table 1 of paragraph 1.E., ``Compliance,'' of SASB 737-
53-1315 R1, except as provided by paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(2) of 
this AD: Perform inspections and applicable corrective actions using 
a method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in 
paragraph (m) of this AD.
    (5) The Condition column of table 2 of Paragraph 1.E., 
``Compliance,'' of SASB 737-53-1315 R1 refers to airplanes in 
certain configurations as of the ``issue date of Revision 1 of this 
service bulletin.'' However, this AD applies to airplanes in the 
specified configurations regardless of when the time-limited repair 
is installed.

(i) Retained Actions for Airplanes With a Time-Limited Repair 
Installed, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (i) of AD 
2017-03-04, with no changes. For airplanes with a time-limited 
repair installed as specified in Boeing Special Attention Service 
Bulletin 737-53-1315, dated July 29, 2011; or SASB 737-53-1315 R1: 
At the applicable times specified in table 2 of paragraph 1.E., 
``Compliance,'' of SASB 737-53-1315 R1, except as provided by 
paragraphs (h)(1) and (h)(5) of this AD, do the actions specified in 
paragraphs (i)(1) and (i)(2) of this AD.
    (1) Do the applicable inspections to detect missing or loose 
fasteners and any disbonding or cracking of bonded doublers; and do 
all applicable related investigative and corrective actions; in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of SASB 737-53-1315 
R1, except as required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD. Do all 
applicable related investigative and corrective actions before 
further flight. Repeat the applicable inspections thereafter at the 
applicable intervals specified in SASB 737-53-1315 R1.
    (2) Make the time-limited repair permanent and do all applicable 
related investigative and corrective actions in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of SASB 737-53-1315 R1, except as 
required by paragraph (h)(3) of this AD. Do all applicable related 
investigative and corrective actions before further flight. 
Accomplishing the permanent repair required by this paragraph 
terminates the inspections required by paragraph (i)(1) of this AD 
for the permanently repaired area only.

(j) Retained AD Provisions for Part 26 Supplemental Inspections, With 
No Changes

    This paragraph restates the provisions specified in paragraph 
(j) of AD 2017-03-04, with no changes. Table 3 of paragraph 1.E., 
``Compliance,'' of SASB 737-53-1315 R1, specifies post-modification 
airworthiness limitation inspections in compliance with 14 CFR 
25.571(a)(3) at the modified locations, which support compliance 
with 14 CFR 121.1109(c)(2) or 129.109(b)(2). As airworthiness 
limitations, these inspections are required by maintenance and 
operational rules. It is therefore unnecessary to mandate them in 
this AD. Deviations from these inspections require FAA approval, but 
do not require an alternative method of compliance.

(k) Retained Skin Panel Replacement, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the requirements of paragraph (k) of AD 
2017-03-04, with no changes. At the later of the times specified in 
paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this AD: Replace the applicable skin 
panels, and do all applicable related investigative and corrective 
actions, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of SASB 
737-53-1315 R1. Do all applicable related investigative and 
corrective actions before further flight. Doing the skin panel 
replacement required by this paragraph terminates the inspection 
requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD for that skin panel only, 
provided the skin panel replacement was done with a production skin 
panel at or after 53,000 total flight cycles.
    (1) Before 60,000 total flight cycles, but not before 53,000 
total flight cycles.
    (2) Within 6,000 flight cycles after March 28, 2017 (the 
effective date of AD 2017-03-04), but not before 53,000 total flight 
cycles.

(l) Retained Credit for Previous Actions, With No Changes

    This paragraph restates the credit specified in paragraph (l) of 
AD 2017-03-04, with no changes. This paragraph provides credit for 
the zone 1 actions required by paragraph (g) of this AD, as 
described in SASB 737-53-1315 R1, if the zone 1, 2, and 3 actions, 
as described in Boeing Special Attention

[[Page 14433]]

Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, dated July 29, 2011, were performed 
before March 28, 2017 (the effective date of AD 2017-03-04) using 
Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, dated July 
29, 2011, except as required by paragraph (h)(4) of this AD. Boeing 
Special Attention Bulletin 737-53-1315, dated July 29, 2011, was 
incorporated by reference in AD 2012-16-07.

(m) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Los Angeles 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 (n) of this AD. 
Information may be emailed to: [email protected].
    (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 Commercial Airplanes Organization 
Designation Authorization (ODA) that has been authorized by the 
Manager, Los Angeles ACO, 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 2012-16-07 are approved as 
AMOCs for the corresponding provisions of paragraph (g) of this AD.

(n) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Jennifer 
Tsakoumakis, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los 
Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount 
Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5264; fax: 562-
627-5210; email: [email protected].

(o) 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.
    (3) The following service information was approved for IBR on 
March 28, 2017 (82 FR 11140, February 21, 2017).
    (i) Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 737-53-1315, 
Revision 1, dated June 30, 2015.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (4) 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.
    (5) You may view this 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.
    (6) 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 March 7, 2017.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-05162 Filed 3-20-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P