MIAMI – According to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing has provisionally stopped deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners. This is because the FAA seeks more evidence to evaluate whether the planemaker’s intended investigation process satisfies safety regulations.
“Boeing still needs to show that its proposed inspection method would meet FAA’s federal safety regulations. The FAA is waiting for additional data from Boeing before determining whether the company’s solution meets safety regulations,” the FAA said in a statement according to Reuters. The statement added: “Since the FAA has not approved Boeing’s proposal, Boeing chose to temporarily stop deliveries to its customers.”
Boeing had previously stated that it transmitted additional documentation to the FAA on its underproduction 787 Dreamliners. Besides, the firm stated that there are no potential consequences on jets currently in operation. However, the FAA has issued two airworthiness directives (AD) to alleviate manufacturing flaws for Dreamliners already in service.
It was in the last quarter of 2020 that the Boeing 737 MAX and 787 were plagued by electrical and manufacturing faults. The manufacturer re-commenced delivery of the 787s in March after a five-month suspension.
According to Reuters, a Boeing spokesperson said, “We are working to provide the FAA with additional information concerning the analysis and documentation associated with the verification work on undelivered 787s.” Boeing’s spokesperson added: “We continue to work closely with the FAA in a transparent and timely manner. There is no impact on the in-service fleet.”
The story began in August 2020 when Boeing stated that eight airlines flying its 787 had withdrawn the type from operations. This was due to two independent manufacturing concerns. Consequently, the FAA responded a month later that it was scrutinizing production problems in numerous 787 Dreamliners.
According to Aerotime Hub, two manufacturing flaws in the Boeing 787 were found in the aft fuselage. Firstly, Boeing revealed that this part of some 787s was unable to sustain its ultimate aerodynamic load, thus rendering it more susceptible to material breakdown in flight.
Secondly, Boeing discovered an additional issue with the aircraft’s empennage. The engineering investigation unveiled that excessive forces were applied during the fastening process for components of the horizontal stabilizer compared to design and limit loads.
As a result, in March 2021, the FAA stated that it would exert “a number of corrective actions” to remedy significant 787 construction flaws. Amongst those, the FAA reserved the right to issue a Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) for four particular aircraft.
Boeing’s Recent Fine
Meanwhile, Boeing accepted to pay a US$17m fine for two manufacturing issues regarding its Boeing 737 MAX and NG.
The fine deals with two issues regarding the introduction of unauthorized components. The first issue involves the installing of a device on 759 Boeing 737 MAX and NG aircraft containing unapproved sensors.
The second issue was that, despite installing on 178 Boeing MAXs a slat track with non-conformity and improperly marked, Boeing had to request an issuance of CofA for the affected aircraft.
Featured image: Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways