Boeing reveals a new quality problem in one of its models and will do additional inspections

Boeing reveals a new quality problem in one of its models and will do additional inspections
Boeing reveals a new quality problem in one of its models and will do additional inspections


WASHINGTON.- Boeing announced Thursday that it will carry out additional inspections of some of its 787 widebody aircraft after revealing that fasteners on aircraft fuselages they may have been installed incorrectlythe last of a series of quality problems that have plagued the aerospace giant.

The problem affects airplanes that have not yet been delivered, as reported by the company in a statement. He said that the 787 Dreamliners currently in service are safe to operatealthough it plans to determine whether airlines with planes in operation need to take any action.

Following the January 5 incident, which caused no fatalities, the FAA gave Boeing 90 days to submit a plan to fix the quality problems.

The company made this disclosure while Michael Whittakerdirector of the Federal Aviation Administration, was preparing for a visit Friday to the South Carolina factory where the 787 is builtpart of the agency’s strengthened oversight of Boeing.

The blowout of a door panel on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this year put Boeing manufacturing practices under scrutinybut also renewed long-standing doubts about the FAA’s oversight of the company.

Whitaker has been praised for his quick decision to ground the 737 Max 9 planes following the Jan. 5 blowout until inspections could be completed. But on Thursday, in an appearance before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, was questioned about the FAA’s response to the crisis.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker testifies before a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “FAA Oversight of Aviation Manufacturing” on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 13, 2024.SAUL LOEB – AFP

“We are counting on you to be that agent of change. “We know that this starts by thoroughly examining the agency itself,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell, the committee chair, noting that the Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm Whitaker to lead the FAA in October.

Added Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), the committee’s ranking Republican: “The FAA must ensure that it not only certifies that an airplane is safely designed, but rather the manufacturer builds it according to that safe design. “It is clear that this did not happen at Boeing.”

Whitaker told panel members that the door panel explosion made clear that the agency’s oversight of Boeing had been “too indifferent” and that a more aggressive approach was necessary. The agency has placed more inspectors at Boeing factories, where they can interact with front-line employees, he said.

FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker speaks at a news conference at FAA headquarters in Washington, Thursday, May 30, 2024.Jose Luis Magana – FR159526 AP

Thursday’s hearing took place just weeks after Boeing submitted a plan to the FAA to address deficiencies identified by the agency. It is expected that David CalhounCEO of Boeing, testify next week before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

In a statement issued Thursday, Boeing said the latest problem related to its 787 planesfirst reported by Reuters, was detected within the framework of the company’s quality management system. The company discovered that some fasteners were tightened incorrectly, and are being studied to determine if they will require repairs.

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., displays a chart illustrating quality problems with a Boeing 787 aircraft during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on InvestigationsDREW ANGERER – AFP

“We are taking the necessary time to ensure that all aircraft meet our delivery standards prior to deliveryBoeing said. “We are working closely with our customers and the FAA and keeping them informed.”

This is just the latest problem affecting production of the 787 aircraft. Last month, the FAA said it had launched an investigation into whether Boeing employees they missed a key inspection of certain 787 aircraft and falsified reports to say the work had been completed.

By Lori Aratani

Washington Post

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