We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 717-200 airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of cracks found on the center section ribs of the horizontal stabilizers. This AD requires repetitive inspections for cracking of the aft face of the left and right rib hinge bearing lugs of the center section of the horizontal stabilizer; and crack measurement, repairs, post-repair repetitive inspections, and installation of a new center section rib if necessary. We are issuing this AD to detect and correct cracking in the left and right bearing lugs of the rib hinge spreading at the same time, which could result in failure of both hinge bearing lugs. Failure of the hinge bearing lugs could result in the inability of the horizontal stabilizer to sustain flight loads and thereby reduce the controllability of the airplane.
Agency Contact: George Garrido, Aerospace Engineer, Airframe Branch, ANM-120L, FAA, Los Angeles Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 3960 Paramount Boulevard, Lakewood, California 90712- 4137; phone: 562-627-5357; fax: 562-627-5210; email: George.Garrido@faa.gov.
This rule is final. Its effective date is July 23, 2012.