[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 9 (Friday, January 12, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1529-1532]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00256]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0629; Product Identifier 2016-NM-184-AD; Amendment 
39-19149; AD 2018-01-08]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The 
Boeing Company Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series 
airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking in the 
frame outboard chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord at a 
certain area. This AD requires inspections to detect this cracking, and 
corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to address the 
unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective February 16, 2018 .
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of December 26, 
2012 (77 FR 69747, November 21, 2012).

ADDRESSES: 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; telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com. 
You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards 
Branch, 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-2017-0629.

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-
0629; 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 final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments 
received, and other information. The address for the Docket Office 
(phone: 800-647-5527) is Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, 
Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 3960 Paramount 
Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-5232; fax: 562-627-
5210; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to all The Boeing Company 
Model 737-100, -200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes. The 
NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2017 (82 FR 29792). 
The NPRM was prompted by reports of fatigue cracking in the frame 
outboard chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord at a certain 
area. The NPRM proposed to require inspections to detect this cracking, 
and corrective action if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect 
and correct fatigue cracking of the outboard and auxiliary chords, 
which could result in reduced structural integrity of the outboard 
chord and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this final rule. The following presents the comments

[[Page 1530]]

received on the NPRM and the FAA's response to each comment.

Effect of Winglets on Accomplishment of the Proposed Actions

    Aviation Partners Boeing stated that accomplishing Supplemental 
Type Certificate (STC) ST01219SE does not affect the ability to 
accomplish the actions specified in the NPRM.
    We agree with the commenter. We have redesignated paragraph (c) of 
the proposed AD as (c)(1) and added paragraph (c)(2) to this AD to 
state that installation of STC ST01219SE 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 
methods of compliance (AMOC) approval request is not necessary to 
comply with the requirements of 14 CFR 39.17.

Request To Remove Certain Language in Paragraph (i) of the Proposed AD

    Boeing asked that the language ``and repair'' be removed from 
paragraph (i) of the proposed AD. Boeing stated that the language in 
paragraph (i) refers to a section in Part 6 of Boeing Alert Service 
Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, which is to 
determine if the modification should be classified as interim or 
permanent. Boeing noted that the additional language ``and repair'' is 
not part of that section, and suggested it be deleted.
    We agree with the commenter's request for the reason provided. We 
have deleted ``and repair'' from paragraph (i) of this AD.

Request To Clarify Certain Language

    Swiftair S.A. stated that the language describing the requirements 
in paragraph (h) of the proposed AD is confusing. Swiftair asked that 
the effectivity and the requirements identified in paragraph (h) of the 
proposed AD be clarified in some way due to extensive sub-paragraphs. 
Swiftair recommended that the ``and'' in the sentence be emphasized.
    We acknowledge the commenter's concern. However, we cannot 
emphasize or highlight specific text in an AD. The affected airplanes 
in paragraph (h) of the AD are those that meet all of the criteria 
specified in the sub-paragraphs. We have not changed this AD in this 
regard.
    Swiftair S.A. also stated that the language describing the 
requirements in paragraph (j) of the proposed AD is confusing. Swiftair 
added that the pre-regulatory text in the NPRM refers to actions from 
AD 2012-23-04, Amendment 39-17260 (77 FR 69747, November 21, 2012) 
(``AD 2012-23-04'') and the combination of that rulemaking and the 
actions in the proposed AD is confusing. Swiftair also stated that 
paragraph (r) of AD 2012-23-04 should be explained in the current 
requirements and not in the pre-regulatory text.
    We agree that some clarification is necessary. Concerning the 
request to include the current requirements of AD 2012-23-04 in this 
AD, we would have had to issue different rulemaking. Instead of a 
stand-alone AD, the alternative would have been to supersede AD 2012-
23-04, which would have resulted in a single but considerably more 
complex AD. All operators identified in AD 2012-23-04 would then have 
to show compliance with the new supersedure AD. Our experience with 
similar complex ADs, and with operator feedback, is that it is 
preferable to leave the existing AD as is and issue a related but 
stand-alone AD such as this one.
    To clarify the criteria in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD, we have 
added Note 1 to paragraph (h)(3) of this AD to reference the optional 
terminating action specified in paragraph (r) of AD 2012-23-04.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
this final rule with the changes described previously and minor 
editorial changes. We have determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM.
    We also determined that these changes will not increase the 
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of this final 
rule.

Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51

    We reviewed Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, 
dated May 25, 2006. The service information describes procedures for 
inspections for cracks of the body station (BS) 727 frame outboard 
chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord, and repair or 
replacement if necessary. 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.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 160 airplanes of U.S. registry. We 
estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Affected
            Action                    Labor cost         airplanes of      Cost per      Cost on  U.S. operators
                                                         U.S. registry      product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Detailed and High Frequency     6 work-hours x $85 per               5            $510  $2,550 per inspection
 Eddy Current (HFEC)             hour = $510 per                                         cycle.
 inspections.                    inspection cycle.
One-time follow-on HFEC         9 work-hours x $85 per               5             765  $3,825.
 inspection.                     hour = $765.
HFEC inspection...............  9 work-hours x $85 per             150             765  $114,750.
                                 hour = $765.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

[[Page 1531]]



                                               On-Condition Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Cost per
                   Action                                 Labor cost                Parts cost        product
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Repair of cracking of the outboard chord     514 work-hours x $85 per hour =             $13,586        $57,276.
 frame.                                       $43,690.
Repair of cracking of the outboard chord...  49 work-hours x $85 per hour =                4,255          8,420.
                                              $4,165.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.
    This 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 to 
the Director of the System Oversight Division.

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.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

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

2018-01-08 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-19149; Docket No. FAA-
2017-0629; Product Identifier 2016-NM-184-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective February 16, 2018.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    (1) This AD applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-100, -
200, -200C, -300, -400, and -500 series airplanes, certificated in 
any category.
    (2) Installation of Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) 
ST01219SE (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgstc.nsf/0/EBD1CEC7B301293E86257CB30045557A?OpenDocument&Highlight=st01219se) 
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 reports of fatigue cracking in the frame 
outboard chord and in the radius of the auxiliary chord at body 
station (BS) 727 and stringer (S) 18A. We are issuing this AD to 
detect and correct fatigue cracking of the outboard and auxiliary 
chords, which could result in reduced structural integrity of the 
outboard chord and consequent rapid decompression of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Action

    For airplanes identified in paragraph (h) of this AD: Within 
4,500 flight cycles or 24 months after the effective date of this 
AD, whichever occurs first, do internal detailed and High Frequency 
Eddy Current (HFEC) inspections to detect cracks in the auxiliary 
chord radius, in accordance with Part 1 of the Accomplishment 
Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 
2, dated May 25, 2006. If any crack is found during any inspection 
required by this paragraph, before further flight, repair using a 
method approved in accordance with the procedures specified in 
paragraph (l) of this AD. Repeat the inspections thereafter at 
intervals not to exceed 15,000 flight cycles. Replacement of the 
outboard chord of the frame at BS 727 concurrently with the 
installation of the preventive modification of the outboard chord in 
accordance with Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing 
Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, 
terminates the repetitive inspections required by this paragraph.

(h) Airplanes for Actions Specified in Paragraph (g) of This AD

    The actions specified in paragraph (g) of this AD are required 
for airplanes that meet the criteria of paragraphs (h)(1), (h)(2), 
(h)(3), and (h)(4) of this AD.
    (1) Model 737-100, -200, and -200C series airplanes, line 
numbers 1 through 999 inclusive.
    (2) Airplanes identified as Groups 1, 2, and 3 in Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006.
    (3) Airplanes on which a preventive modification has been 
installed in accordance with the method specified in paragraph 
(h)(3)(i), (h)(3)(ii), or (h)(3)(iii) of this AD.
    Note 1 to paragraph (h)(3) of this AD: The modification 
identified in paragraph (h)(3) of this AD is also specified in 
paragraph (r) of AD 2012-23-04, Amendment 39-17260 (77 FR 69747, 
November 21, 2012), as optional terminating action.
    (i) Part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006.

[[Page 1532]]

    (ii) Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 1, dated May 25, 1995.
    (iii) Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, dated June 30, 1994.
    (4) Airplanes on which the outboard chord has not been replaced 
in accordance with the method specified in paragraph (h)(4)(i), 
(h)(4)(ii), or (h)(4)(iii) of this AD.
    (i) Part 3 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006.
    (ii) Part I of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 1, dated May 25, 1995.
    (iii) Part I of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, dated June 30, 1994.

(i) Edge Margin Measurement, Related Investigative Actions, and Repair

    For Model 737-100, -200, and -200C series airplanes having line 
numbers 1 through 999 inclusive, identified as Groups 1 through 3 in 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 
2006, on which the preventive modification has been installed in 
accordance with Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, dated 
June 30, 1994; or Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, 
Revision 1, dated May 25, 1995: Within 60,000 flight cycles after 
accomplishing the preventive modification, determine if the 
modification is classified as interim or permanent by using the edge 
margin measurement classification specified in part 6 of the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-
53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. In lieu of measuring on the 
airplane, a review of engineering documentation may be used to 
classify the modification if the engineering documentation was 
completed at the time of the modification and has the edge margins 
recorded.
    (1) If the modification is classified as permanent, no further 
action is required by paragraph (i) of this AD.
    (2) If the modification is classified as interim: Within 60,000 
flight cycles after accomplishment of the interim modification of 
the outboard chord of the frame at BS 727 at S-18A, but no earlier 
than 50,000 flight cycles after accomplishment of the modification, 
do a one-time follow-on open-hole eddy current inspection to detect 
cracks in the modified chord, in accordance with part 8 of the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-
53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006. If any crack is found, 
before further flight, repair in accordance with part 3 or part 4, 
as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006; 
except, if the repairs cannot be installed using the identified 
procedures, repair before further flight using a method approved in 
accordance with the procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this 
AD.

(j) Follow-On Inspection for Interim Modification and Repair

    For airplanes having line numbers 1 through 3132 inclusive, on 
which an interim modification of the BS 727 outboard chord as 
defined in part 6 of the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, has 
been accomplished: Within 60,000 flight cycles after accomplishment 
of the interim modification of the outboard chord of the frame at BS 
727 at S-18A, but no earlier than 50,000 flight cycles after 
accomplishment of the modification, do a one-time follow-on open-
hole eddy current inspection to detect cracks in the modified chord, 
in accordance with part 8 of the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 
2006. If any crack is found during the inspection required by this 
paragraph, before further flight, repair in accordance with part 3 
or part 4, as applicable, of the Accomplishment Instructions of 
Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 
2006; except, where the repairs cannot be installed using the 
procedures identified in this service bulletin, repair before 
further flight using a method approved in accordance with the 
procedures specified in paragraph (l) of this AD.

(k) Exception to the Service Information

    Access and restoration procedures specified in the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-
53A1166, Revision 2, dated May 25, 2006, are not required by this 
AD. Operators may do those actions following their approved 
maintenance procedures.

(l) 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 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 (m) 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 Branch, 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.

(m) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact George Garrido, 
Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Section, FAA, Los Angeles ACO Branch, 
3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, CA 90712-4137; phone: 562-627-
5232; fax: 562-627-5210; email: [email protected].

(n) 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 
December 26, 2012 (77 FR 69747, November 21, 2012).
    (i) Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 737-53A1166, Revision 2, dated 
May 25, 2006.
    (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; 
telephone 562-797-1717; internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.
    (5) You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport 
Standards Branch, 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 January 2, 2018.
Michael Kaszycki,
Acting Director, System Oversight Division, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2018-00256 Filed 1-11-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P