U.S. aviation regulators have proposed mandatory inspections of hundreds of Boeing Co. jetliners to check for potential fuel-system problems that could cause engines to stop running and prevent pilots from restarting them. The proposed regulations, released by the Federal Aviation Administration last month, would require airlines to look for air leaks that “could result in multiengine flameout,” or engine stoppages. The proposal says the problem could result in “an inability to restart the engines, and consequent forced landing of the airplane.”
The proposed rules technically affect more than 3,500 aircraft flown by U.S. carriers, but both FAA and Boeing officials said many of the planes already have been checked. It was reported that Boeing previously had changed the design of its fuel systems. It urged carriers to conduct such operational checks last year, but it’s not clear how many planes have been inspected so far.
According to the FAA, the move, which applies to nearly all plane models, was brought about by engine stoppages on six different Boeing aircraft between 2002 and 2004. Some of those incidents occurred during flight, while others took place during taxiing, according to the FAA. Fortunately, the incidents didn’t result in any crashes or injuries. Both Boeing and the FAA say the latest measure isn’t considered a high-priority safety item, which is rather difficult to comprehend. It certainly would appear that inspections relating to safety issues would be a top priority for all concerned. Boeing’s family of airliners share common fuel-system design features.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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