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Thu, Dec 06, 2012

FAA Issues AD For Dreamliner Fuel Leaks

Requires Immediate Inspection Of Fuel Feed Manifold Couplings

The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive for Boeing's new Dreamliner after receiving reports of fuel leaks on two different in-service airplanes, and the subsequent discovery of several improperly assembled engine fuel feed manifold couplings on in-service and production airplanes.

The improper coupling installations, which occurred during production, have included couplings with missing or improperly installed lockwire, parts within the couplings installed in the wrong locations, incorrect parts installed in the couplings, and couplings that have extra parts installed. The FAA says these conditions, if not corrected, could result in fuel leaks, which could lead to fuel exhaustion, engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire.

The AD (2012-24-07) requires ensuring that the lockwire is installed correctly on the engine fuel feed manifold couplings. This AD also requires inspecting the assembly of the engine fuel feed manifold rigid and full flexible couplings.

The FAA estimate that this AD affects 3 airplanes of U.S. registry. The total cost of the repair is estimated at $2,712 per airplane.

The AD is a final rule. The agency said that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable and that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days. However, there is a comment period open through January 22, 2013.

The effective date for the AD is December 5, 2012.

In an unrelated development, CBS News reports that a United Airlines 787 made an emergency landing in New Orleans Tuesday after an unspecified problem arose during a flight from Houston to Newark. United officials said that the airplane landed safely in New Orleans Tuesday morning, and the 174 passengers on board continued on a different airplane to their destination.

There were reports of an electrical problem with the airplane on the website NYCAviation.com, but United has not said specifically why the airplane was diverted.

(United Airlines 787 photo from file)



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