Posts Tagged ‘Federal Aviation Administration’

Boeing’s PR upsets Japanese Civil Aviation Board – and this will delay the Dreamliner flying again

March 16, 2013

Boeing’s upbeat announcement that the Dreamliner could be flying in a matter of weeks has upset the Japanese Civil Aviation Board. It would seem that Boeing did not clear their PR blitz in Tokyo in advance with the CAB. Their optimistic statements about the Dreamliner flying again “in a matter of weeks” to try and reassure the market place may prove to be a PR blunder and could backfire.

ET: Japanese regulators immediately warned that the timetable was impossible to predict, in part because investigators still do not know what had caused lithium-ion batteries to overheat on two 787s. 

“At this time we are not yet in a position to say when flights will restart,” said Shigeru Takano, the air transport safety director at Japan’s Civil Aviation Board (CAB), which will assess and approve Boeing’sproposed fix. …

…. “If we look at the normal process and the way in which we work with the FAA, and we look at the testing that’s ahead of us, it is reasonable to expect we could be back up and going in weeks, not months,” the 787’s chief engineer, Mike Sinnett, said at an earlier briefing in Tokyo. 

But the CAB, the FAA’s counterpart in Japan, dismissed Sinnett’s prediction, saying it was too early to predict when 787 operations could resume, since regulators in the United States and Japan are still investigating. Takano, the air transport safety director at the CAB, said Sinnett’s comment on the battery probe was “inappropriate.”

To call Boeing’s statement “inappropriate” is tantamount to an outright rejection. I think Boeing has shot itself in the foot since the CAB clearly perceives their role being usurped by Boeing’s PR pronouncements. There is now no way that the CAB can or will allow any “fast-tracking” of approvals.

Reuters: Japan is Boeing’s biggest customer for the fuel-efficient aircraft, which has a list price of $207 million. JAL and ANA combined account for almost half the global Dreamliner fleet. Japanese firms also build 35 of the aircraft.

And until the CAB approves, other countries will also hold off their approvals. It is going to be at least 2 months now before Dreamliners fly again commercially.

Boeing Dreamliner has some teething troubles

December 5, 2012

It is only to be expected of course but the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will also surely have its share of teething difficulties. They seem relatively minor so far but the aircraft is after all 3 years late. I have not yet flown on the Dreamliner or the Airbus A380 but will not have any qualms about travelling on either when the opportunity arises. But the 4 engines on the A380 Airbus might be less stressful than just the 2 on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the first time on a new aircraft!

  1. Chicago Tribune: A brand-new United Airlines “Dreamliner” airplane bound for Newark was diverted Tuesday morning, making an emergency landing in New Orleans because of an undisclosed mechanical problem. On Tuesday, the 7:30 a.m. United flight 1146 from Houston to Newark was diverted to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and landed safely there at 9:25 a.m., the airline said. The plane, the third delivered to United recently, carried 174 customers and 10 crew members. Neither United nor Boeing would describe the problem except to say it was a “mechanical issue.”
  2. Seattle Times:The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering airlines to inspect 787 Dreamliners for improperly installed fuel-line connectors that could result in leaks or even fires. The safety directive, to be published Wednesday, gives airlines a week to check fuel-line system fastening wires and 21 days to check connectors inside the pylons that hold the engines. Fuel leaks were reported by airlines on two in-service 787s, and subsequent inspections by Boeing of jets in service or still in production revealed some fuel line connectors were installed incorrectly.

United Dreamliner: image United

Lufthansa A380 D-AIMA image: wikipedia

Rolls Royce Trent 900 engine was subject of Airworthiness Directive on 17th September

November 4, 2010

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an AD concerning the RR Trent 900 engine recently:

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for the products listed above. This AD results from mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by an aviation authority of another country to identify and correct an unsafe condition on an aviation product. The MCAI describes the unsafe condition as:

Wear, beyond Engine Manual limits, has been identified on the abutment faces of the splines on the Trent 900 Intermediate Pressure (IP) shaft rigid coupling on several engines during strip. The shaft to coupling spline interface provides the means of controlling the turbine axial setting and wear through of the splines would permit the IP turbine to move rearwards.

Rearward movement of the IP turbine would enable contact with static turbine components and would result in loss of engine performance with potential for in-flight shut down, oil migration and oil fire below the LP turbine discs prior to sufficient indication resulting in loss of LP turbine disc integrity.
We are issuing this AD to detect rearward movement of the IP turbine, which could result in loss of disc integrity, an uncontained failure of the engine, and damage to the airplane.

DATES: This AD becomes effective September 17, 2010.

Of course it is far too early to say if this has anything to do with the Trent 900 engine failures experienced by Singapore Airlines and Qantas on their A 380’s but the AD does talk about the possibility of an “uncontained failure of the engine”.

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