The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering airlines to inspect Boeing 787 Dreamliners for improperly installed fuel-line connectors that could result in leaks or even fires.
The safety directive 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 Dreamliners, and subsequent inspections by Boeing of jets in service or still in production revealed that some fuel line connectors were installed incorrectly.
Such leaks “could result in fuel leaks and consequent fuel exhaustion, engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire,” according to an FAA notice Tuesday in the Federal Register.
Boeing recommended such inspections to 787 customers on Nov. 25. The FAA airworthiness directive makes it mandatory.
“Certainly we would prefer not to have workmanship issues,” said Boeing spokeswoman Lori Gunter. “But the system finds them, we report them and we develop a solution.”
Gunter said the inspections have already been completed on approximately half of the 38 airplanes delivered so far.
“Boeing is also taking appropriate steps to ensure proper installation on airplanes in production,” she said.
Gunter would not disclose which two airlines reported the original fuel leaks.