[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 79 (Tuesday, April 24, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24357-24360]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9476]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2011-1165; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-002-AD; 
Amendment 39-17030; AD 2012-08-13]
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 certain 
The Boeing Company Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes. This AD was 
prompted by reports of two failures of the single-tabbed bracket on the 
rudder. This AD requires replacing certain single-tabbed bonding 
brackets in the airplane empennage with two-tabbed bonding brackets. 
This AD also requires, for certain airplanes, installing new bonding 
jumpers, and measuring the resistance of the modified installation to 
verify resistance is within specified limits. We are issuing this AD to 
prevent failure of the bonding jumper bracket, which could result in 
loss of lightning protection ground path, which could

[[Page 24358]]

lead to increased lightning-induced currents and subsequent damage to 
composite structures, hydraulic tubes, and actuator control 
electronics. In the event of a lightning strike, loss of lightning 
ground protection could result in the loss of control of the airplane.

DATES: This AD is effective May 29, 2012.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of certain publications listed in the AD as of May 29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 
P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 206-
544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; email me.boecom@boeing.com; 
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, Washington. 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 address for the 
Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document 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: Georgios Roussos, Aerospace Engineer, 
Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, Seattle Aircraft Certification 
Office (ACO), FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington 98057-3356; 
phone: (425) 917-6482; fax: (425) 917-6590; email: 
georgios.roussos@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. 
That NPRM published in the Federal Register on November 4, 2011 (76 FR 
68366). That NPRM proposed to require replacing certain single-tabbed 
bonding brackets in the airplane empennage with two-tabbed bonding 
brackets. That NPRM also proposed to require, for certain airplanes, 
installing new bonding jumpers, and measuring the resistance of the 
modified installation to verify resistance is within specified limits.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comments received on the proposal 
(76 FR 68366, November 4, 2011) and the FAA's response to each comment.

Support for the NPRM (76 FR 68366, November 4, 2011)

    The Boeing Company and United Airlines both support the NPRM (76 FR 
68366, November 4, 2011).

Request To Exclude a Requirement

    American Airlines (AA) requested that we revise the NPRM (76 FR 
68366, November 4, 2011) to exclude the requirement that states ``Put 
the airplane back to a serviceable condition,'' which is found in 
paragraph 3.B.7. of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-55A0014, Revision 1, 
dated April 1, 2010. AA explained that this requirement does not affect 
the condition which the proposed AD seeks to address. AA reasoned that, 
as most operators will accomplish the modifications required by the 
service information as part of a maintenance visit, returning the 
airplane to a serviceable condition will not be possible in the context 
of that statement, but will rather occur at a point in time well after 
the work is complete.
    We disagree to exclude the requirement that states ``Put the 
airplane back to a serviceable condition'' in this final rule. The 
intent of this requirement is to ensure that all work that is performed 
as directed by the service information is verified to have been 
completed, and to ensure that modifications have been tested and are 
fully operational, prior to return to service. We are currently in the 
process of reviewing issues surrounding which actions in a service 
bulletin are necessary to be required in an AD in order to address the 
identified unsafe condition. Once we have thoroughly examined all 
aspects of this issue and have made a final determination, we will 
consider whether our current practice needs to be revised. We have not 
changed this AD in this regard.

Revised Heading

    We have revised the heading for and the wording in paragraph (i) of 
this AD; this change has not changed the intent of that paragraph.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the available data, including the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
the AD as proposed--except for minor editorial changes. We have 
determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM (76 FR 68366, November 4, 2011) for correcting the unsafe 
condition; and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM (76 FR 68366, November 4, 2011).

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 87 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
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                                                                                                 Cost on  U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost           Parts cost      Cost per product      operators
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Replacement......................  21 work-hours x $85             $1,235             $3,020           $262,740
                                    per hour = $1,785.
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                                     Estimated Costs for Concurrent Actions
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                                                                                                 Cost on  U.S.
              Action                    Labor cost           Parts cost      Cost per product      operators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Replacement......................  66 work-hours x $85             $2,668             $8,278           $248,340
                                    per hour = $5,610.
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[[Page 24359]]

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.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

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

2012-08-13 The Boeing Company: Amendment 39-17030; Docket No. FAA-
2011-1165; Directorate Identifier 2011-NM-002-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective May 29, 2012.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    The Boeing Company Model 777-200 and -300 series airplanes, 
certificated in any category, as identified in Boeing Service 
Bulletin 777-55A0014, Revision 1, dated April 1, 2010.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association 
(ATA) of America Code 55: Stabilizers.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of two failures of the single-
tabbed bracket on the rudder. We are issuing this AD to prevent 
failure of the bonding jumper bracket, which could result in loss of 
lightning protection ground path, which could lead to increased 
lightning-induced currents and subsequent damage to composite 
structures, hydraulic tubes, and actuator control electronics. In 
the event of a lightning strike, loss of lightning ground protection 
could result in the loss of control of the airplane.

(f) Compliance

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

(g) Replacement

    Within 48 months after the effective date of this AD, replace 
certain single-tabbed bonding brackets in the airplane empennage 
with two-tabbed bonding brackets, in accordance with the 
Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-55A0014, 
Revision 1, dated April 1, 2010.

(h) Concurrent Requirements

    For airplanes identified in Boeing Service Bulletin 777-55A0010, 
Revision 1, dated April 17, 2001: Prior to or concurrently with 
accomplishing the requirements of paragraph (g) of this AD, install 
new bonding jumpers, and do resistance measurements of the modified 
installation to verify resistance is within the limits specified in 
the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service Bulletin 777-
55A0010, Revision 1, dated April 17, 2001. Do the actions in 
accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of Boeing Service 
Bulletin 777-55A0010, Revision 1, dated April 17, 2001.

(i) Credit for Previous Actions

    (1) This paragraph provides credit for replacing certain single-
tabbed bonding brackets with two-tabbed bonding brackets, as 
required by paragraph (g) of this AD, if the replacement was 
performed before the effective date of this AD using Boeing Alert 
Service Bulletin 777-55A0014, dated May 8, 2008.
    (2) This paragraph provides credit for installing new bonding 
jumpers, and doing resistance measurements of the modified 
installation that verify the resistance is within the specified 
limits, as required by paragraph (h) of this AD, if the installation 
and measurements are performed before the effective date of this AD 
using Boeing Alert Service Bulletin 777-55A0010, dated October 26, 
2000.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Seattle Aircraft Certification Office, 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 the Related Information section 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.

(k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Georgios Roussos, 
Aerospace Engineer, Systems and Equipment Branch, ANM-130S, Seattle 
Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., 
Renton, Washington 98057-3356; Phone: (425) 917-6482; fax: (425) 
917-6590; email: georgios.roussos@faa.gov.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) You must use the following service information to do the 
actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise. The 
Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference (IBR) of the following service information under 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 1 CFR part 51:
    (i) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-55A0010, Revision 1, dated April 
17, 2001.
    (ii) Boeing Service Bulletin 777-55A0014, Revision 1, dated 
April 1, 2010.
    (2) For service information identified in this AD, contact 
Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Attention: Data & Services Management, 
P.O. Box 3707, MC 2H-65, Seattle, Washington 98124-2207; telephone 
206-544-5000, extension 1; fax 206-766-5680; email 
me.boecom@boeing.com; Internet https://www.myboeingfleet.com.
    (3) You may review copies of the service information at the FAA. 
You may review copies of the referenced service information at the 
FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, 
Washington. For information on the availability of this material at 
the FAA, call 425-227-1221.
    (4) You may also review copies of the service information that 
is incorporated by reference at the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA). For

[[Page 24360]]

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 April 12, 2012.
John P. Piccola,
Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification 
Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-9476 Filed 4-23-12; 8:45 am]
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