FAA will mandate inspections for early models of 737 aircraft

April 5, 2011

The U.S. FAA issues an emergency directive that will require operators of specific early Boeing 737 models to conduct initial and repetitive electromagnetic inspections for fatigue damage. This action will initially apply to a total of approximately 175 aircraft worldwide, 80 of which are U.S.-registered aircraft. Most of the aircraft in the U.S. are operated by Southwest Airlines.

The FAA airworthiness directive will require initial inspections using electromagnetic, or eddy-current, technology in specific areas of the aircraft fuselage on certain Boeing 737 aircraft in the -300, -400 and -500 series that have accumulated more than 30,000 flight cycles. It will then require repetitive inspections at regular intervals.

In  November 2010, the FAA published a rule designed specifically to address widespread fatigue damage in aging aircraft. The rule requires aircraft manufacturers to establish a number of flight cycles or hours a plane can operate and be free from fatigue damage. The rule requires aircraft manufacturers to incorporate the limits into their maintenance programs.


Emergency AD: Falcon 50 fire extinguishing system inspection

February 21, 2011

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive, requiring inspection of the fire extinguishing system of Dassault Falcon 50 and Falcon 50EX aircraft.

On two occurrences on Falcon 50 aeroplanes in service, it was detected that two pipes had been swapped in maintenance at the frame 42 firewall. The swapped lines are the extinguishing system line to engine # 2,and engine # 2 Low Pressure (LP) bleed line.

If the swapping of these two lines is not detected and corrected, in case of engine # 2 fire, the fire extinguishing capability would not be operational.

For this reason, the AD requires an inspection of the connection of the two lines (extinguishing and LP bleed lines) at frame 42 in the rear compartment and, in case of findings, proper re-installation of the lines. This AD requires as well reporting to Dassault Aviation. This AD is considered to be an interim measure and, depending on the inspection results provided by operators, further AD action may follow.

 


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