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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium The Rover's Avatar
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    10.21.16 @ 10:54 AM
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    FAA Tells Airlines to Check Boeing 737s After Fire

    U.S. Tells 8 Airlines to Check Boeing 737s After Fire

    Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. regulators ordered Southwest Airlines Co., American Airlines and six other carriers to inspect newer Boeing Co. 737 jets for loose parts following a fire that destroyed a China Airlines plane last week.

    The airlines have 24 days to check a portion of the 737 wings for loose or missing parts, said Les Dorr, a spokesman for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The requirement issued by the FAA covers 783 Boeing 737s operated by U.S. carriers, he said.

    A loose wing-slat bolt that punctured the fuel tank was the likely cause of the Aug. 20 fire on a China Airlines Boeing 737- 800, trade publication Air Transport World reported last week, citing Japanese safety investigators. All 165 passengers and crew members escaped before the fire, which began after the plane landed in Okinawa.

    ``That was one of the things that prompted us to do this,'' Dorr said in an interview. ``We and Boeing are still assessing the situation.''

    Boeing 737 models covered by the inspection order also are operated by Delta Air Lines Inc., Continental Airlines Inc., AirTran Holdings Inc., Alaska Air Group Inc., ATA Holdings Corp. and Aloha Airlines, the FAA said.

    Boeing issued a letter to airlines operating all of the world's 2,350 next-generation 737s calling for an inspection of the ``slat down-stop assembly,'' spokeswoman Vicki Ray said. The memo tells operators to assess whether assembly pieces are in place and properly tightened, she said. Slats slide out from each wing's front edge during takeoffs and landings.

    Loose Nuts

    In 2005, Boeing received four reports of a nut from the assembly becoming loose. Boeing then determined that the loose nut could cause a fuel leak, and a service letter was sent to all operators, Ray said. A service letter doesn't require action; the FAA's order does.

    The China Airlines jet had a missing washer, allowing the bolt to come loose and pierce the fuel tank, Ray said.

    The FAA has received reports of at least two incidents where fuel leaks resulted when parts came loose on slats, Dorr said.

    During the mandated inspection, operators of the Boeing 737- 600s, -700s, -700Cs, -800s, -900s and 900ERs must use a torque wrench on the nut and bolts reported to have come loose, Dorr said. The airlines must check the parts again after 3,000 takeoffs and landings, he said.

    Southwest Inspections

    Southwest, with more than 280 Boeing 737-700s, said it had completed more than half of its inspections and hasn't ``found anything that needed to be addressed,'' said Brandy King, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based carrier.

    Delta has finished inspecting four of its 71 737-800s and expects to check the remainder before the FAA deadline, spokeswoman Betsy Talton said.

    Most inspections can be performed during overnight stops, so Delta doesn't have to take the jets out of service, she said. Delta started the inspections voluntarily on Aug. 24, a day ahead of the FAA order, she said. She didn't know how much the inspections will cost the airline.

    Continental, based in Houston, already has begun inspections of its 153 affected aircraft, said spokeswoman Julie King.

    American will ``devote whatever resources it needs to get the inspections accomplished in the required time,'' said spokesman John Hotard. American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, has 77 Boeing 737-800s.

    Japanese airlines required to conduct similar checks found no problems, Japan's transport ministry said. There are 2,287 Boeing 737s models worldwide.

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    03.07.10 @ 05:18 AM
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    Footage of the plane's explosion. Again, miraculously, all aboard (165 passengers, plus crew) were safe.

    Warning: This footage is quite intense.
    China plane fire Japan, Boeing 737, 5 years old (1:46)
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing!
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    07.01.10 @ 05:21 AM
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    Swell. I travel lots for work and am usually on a 737 for long hauls like this upcoming Wednesday.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk fast98dodge's Avatar
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    07.15.16 @ 10:31 PM
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    Sounds to me like a design flaw...

    My dad just so happens to be one of the people Boeing has that does final inspection of new 737's (except avionics)... If I get a chance, I'll see what his thoughts are on this whole deal...
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