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FAA Proposes Modifications and Inspections on Boeing Planes to Prevent Engine-Housing Failures

by Anna

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed modifications and additional inspections on nearly 2,000 Boeing planes in the United States to prevent engine-housing failures similar to the one that led to a fatal incident on a Southwest Airlines flight in 2018. The proposal, released on Tuesday, largely aligns with recommendations made by Boeing to airlines in July 2022 and aims to address concerns related to engine cowling breakups.

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The proposed modifications would require the replacement of fasteners and other parts near the engines of many older Boeing 737s. Airlines would have until the end of July 2028 to implement these changes, according to the proposed regulations developed by Boeing. However, the modifications would not be required on the latest version of the 737, the Max jets.

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The FAA’s proposal comes in response to two incidents involving engine cowling breakups, one in 2016 and the other in 2018, resulting in a fatal accident. Both incidents were linked to broken fan blades, with the latter causing a chain reaction that led to the cowling breaking loose and striking the plane, resulting in the death of a passenger.

Following the 2018 incident, the FAA ordered emergency inspections of fan blades and mandated the replacement of cracked blades in similar CFM International engines. The new proposal seeks to reduce the risk of engine-housing parts breaking away when fan blades fail, requiring airlines to replace fasteners on specific planes and install additional parts on all affected 737s.

The FAA estimates that the proposal would impact 1,979 planes registered in the United States. Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until January 26, allowing stakeholders and the aviation community to provide feedback on the proposed regulations before they are finalized. The FAA’s initiative reflects ongoing efforts to enhance safety measures and prevent potential hazards in commercial aviation.

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