Fuel Leaks Force Jet Inspections

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 @ 06:12 PM gHale


Manufacturing errors are the cause of fuel leaks on Boeing Co.’s new 787 Dreamliners which must now undergo inspections, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

The airworthiness directive, the first for the 787 since it entered service last year, will require checks of fuel-line connectors for an “unsafe condition,” the FAA said on the Federal Register’s website. Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. said they had repaired planes because of the fault.

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The leaks, attributed to improperly installed couplings, could cause a plane to run out of fuel, an engine-power loss or a fire, the FAA said. Chicago-based Boeing issued a similar recommendation on Nov. 25, advising carriers to complete an inspection within seven days, according to the FAA.

The planemaker delivered 33 Dreamliners, the first jetliner made chiefly of composite materials, through October.

Inspections have occurred on about half of the 787s handed over so far, and Boeing is “taking appropriate steps to ensure proper installation on airplanes in production,” said Lori Gunter, a company spokeswoman. The couplings are in the pylons that support the jet’s two engines.

The FAA is requiring partial checks within seven days and what it estimates to be a full 10-hour, $2,712 inspection and potential repair within 21 days. It didn’t identify the 787s with the leaks beyond saying a U.S. carrier didn’t fly them.



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