The US regulator has issued an airworthiness directive requiring airlines to inspect a total of 222 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the United States, following the discovery of new problems this time in the hold.
Obtained by FlightGlobal but not to be published on the FAA website until February 19, 2021, the new directive orders the inspection of the cargo compartments of type 787 aircraft, following « multiple incident reports » of decompression disengaged or torn. Operators will therefore have to carry out “repetitive inspections” of the front and rear bunkers of the Dreamliner, in order to reinstall or replace these panels if necessary.
The pressure relief signs pose a safety risk according to the FAA because in the event of a cargo fire, « large leaks in the cargo hold area could result in concentrations of halon insufficient to adequately control the fire, » the directive said. The FAA estimates that each inspection cycle will cost $ 56,610; the first inspections should be carried out before the end of March, « and should be repeated within 120 days ».
This problem is the last for the Dreamliner family after those discovered at the end of August of production in Charleston on eight copies of Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, and United Airlines, of « non-compliance » on the assembly of the horizontal stabilizers in Salt Lake City, autopilot or fuselage assembly faults.
Recall that the move from the historic FAL from Everett (which since 2009 assembles the 787-8 and 787-9) to that of North Charleston, South Carolina (already producing the 787-10) should be completed by the end of March.
At the end of January 2021 excluding BBJ, Boeing still had to deliver 512 787-8, 787-9, and 787-10 around the world (458 according to the new ASC606 accounting standards), 992 have already entered service. No Dreamliner has been delivered since the end of October 2020.