Federal Register: January 12, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 8)
DOCID: FR Doc 06-183
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
CFR Citation: 14 CFR Part 39
Docket ID: [Docket No. FAA-2005-22289; Directorate Identifier 2005-NM-101-AD; Amendment 39-14446; AD 2006-01-07]
RIN ID: RIN 2120-AA64
ACTION: Airworthiness directives:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Final rule.
Airworthiness Directives; Boeing Model 747-100, 747-100B, 747- 200B, 747-200C, 747-200F, 747-400F, 747SR, and 747SP Series Airplanes
DATES: This AD becomes effective February 16, 2006.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of February 16, 2006.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Model 747100, 747100B, 747200B, 747200C, 747200F, 747400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, without a stretched upper deck or stretched upper deck modification. This AD requires detailed and highfrequency eddy current inspections for cracks of each affected tension tie and of the surrounding structure, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. This AD results from a report of a crack in the tension tie at the body station 820 frame connection, and cracks found on the Boeing 747SR fatiguetest airplane in both the tension ties and frames at the tension tie to frame connections at body stations 800, 820, and 840. We are issuing this AD to find and fix cracks in the tension ties, which could lead to cracks in the skin and body frame and result in rapid inflight depressurization of the airplane.
Examining the Docket
You may examine the airworthiness directive (AD) docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 6475227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Discussion
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 to include an AD that would apply to certain Boeing Model 747100, 747100B, 747200B, 747200C, 747200F, 747400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, without a stretched upper deck or stretched upper deck modification. That NPRM was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2005 (70 FR 52945). That NPRM proposed to require detailed and highfrequency eddy current inspections for cracks at the outboard ends of each affected tension tie and of the surrounding structure, and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary.
We provided the public the opportunity to participate in the development of this AD. We have considered the comments received. Request to Remove References to ``Outboard Ends''
The commenter, the airplane manufacturer, requests that we remove the phrase ``at the outboard ends'' when referring to the tension ties and their surrounding structure. The commenter states that making this change would clarify that the inspection of the affected tension ties is from end to end. The commenter states that this change is consistent with Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747532502, dated April 21, 2005, which specifies inspections from end to end of each applicable tension tie. The commenter requests that we remove the reference ``at the outboard ends'' from the title of the NPRM, the ``Summary'' section, the ``Relevant Service Information'' section, and paragraph (f).
We agree with the commenter. It is our intention that operators inspect the affected tension ties and their surrounding structure in accordance with the special attention service bulletin. We carried over the phrase ``at the outboard ends'' from the ``Action'' and ``Description'' paragraphs of the special attention service bulletin. To avoid confusion, we have removed all appearances of this phrase from the final rule. We have changed paragraph (f) and the ``Summary'' section. We have not changed the ``Relevant Service Information'' section since that section of the preamble does not reappear in the final rule. We have also not changed the title of the NPRM because we do not give titles to NPRMs. We have retained the reference to the outboard ends in the ``Discussion'' section of the final rule because that section quotes the NPRM as it appeared originally in the Federal Register.
Request to Correct Paragraph Citations
The same commenter notes that there are two typographical errors in paragraph (g) of the NPRM, the Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)'' paragraph. The commenter points out that the references to paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (g)(2)(ii) should refer to paragraphs (g)(3)(i) and (g)(3)(ii).
We agree with the commenter. As noted below under ``Clarification of AMOC Paragraph,'' we have also clarified paragraph (g) of the final rule to add a new paragraph (g)(2). Therefore, we have corrected the references in the final rule as requested, but the new references are to paragraphs (g)(4)(i) and (g)(4)(ii).
Clarification of AMOC Paragraph
We have revised this action to clarify the appropriate procedure for notifying the principal inspector before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies.
We have carefully reviewed the available data, including the comments received, and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting the AD with the changes described previously. We have determined that these changes will neither increase the economic burden on any operator nor increase the scope of the AD. Interim Action
We consider this proposed AD interim action. The manufacturer is currently developing a modification that will address the unsafe condition identified in this AD. Once this modification is developed, approved, and available, we may consider additional rulemaking. Costs of Compliance
There are about 458 airplanes of the affected design in the worldwide fleet. This AD affects about 141 airplanes of
U.S. registry. The inspections take about 8 work hours per tension tie location. There are between 8 and 12 tension tie locations on each airplane, depending on the airplane's configuration. The average labor rate is $65 per work hour. Based on these figures, the estimated cost of the AD for U.S. operators is between $586,560 and $879,840, or between $4,160 and $6,240 per airplane, per inspection cycle. 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.
We have determined that 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); 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.
We prepared a regulatory evaluation of the estimated costs to comply with this AD and placed it in the AD docket. See the ADDRESSES section for a location to examine the regulatory evaluation. 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 39AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
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]
2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness directive (AD):
20060107 Boeing: Amendment 3914446. Docket No. FAA200522289; Directorate Identifier 2005NM101AD.
(a) This AD becomes effective February 16, 2006.
(c) This AD applies to Boeing Model 747100, 747100B, 747200B, 747200C, 747200F, 747400F, 747SR, and 747SP series airplanes, certificated in any category; without a stretched upper deck or stretched upper deck modification; as identified in Boeing Special Attention Service Bulletin 747532502, dated April 21, 2005. Unsafe Condition
(d) This AD results from a report of a crack in the tension tie at the body station 820 frame connection, and cracks found on the Boeing 747SR fatiguetest airplane in both the tension ties and frames at the tension tie to frame connections at body stations 800, 820, and 840. We are issuing this AD to find and fix cracks in the tension ties, which could lead to cracks in the skin and body frame and result in rapid inflight depressurization of the airplane. Compliance
(e) You are responsible for having the actions required by this AD performed within the compliance times specified, unless the actions have already been done.
Repetitive Inspections and Corrective Actions
(f) At the applicable time in paragraph (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Ivan Li, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM120S, FAA, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 980554056; telephone (425) 9176437; fax (425) 9176590.