US Aviation Authority launches new Boeing probe over 787 Dreamliner checks

SAN JOSE (California), May 6: US aviation authority FAA on Monday announced a new investigation into Boeing after the embattled plane manufacturer revealed that some of its employees skipped checks on its long-haul 787 Dreamliner aircraft. 

According to Boeing, some of the checks on the connection between the fuselage and wings were omitted and, nevertheless, entered into logs as having been carried out. 

The aviation giant stressed that this was not an urgent safety issue for the current airline fleet and that no aircraft would have to be grounded.

The new FAA investigation will examine whether the necessary inspections have been carried out and look into the allegations of falsification. The company is checking all 787s on the production lines and must also draw up a corresponding plan for aircraft that are in operation.

A Boeing employee had observed a violation of inspection requirements and informed management, wrote 787 programme manager Scott Stocker in an email to the workforce. 

The company then discovered that “several people” at the plant in the US state of South Carolina had not carried out the prescribed tests, but had noted them as completed in the documentation. The inspections would now have to be rescheduled.

The manufacturer stressed that it immediately informed the FAA of the infringement. 

Boeing has been under pressure to improve quality controls since a dramatic incident in January. 

A part of the fuselage of a virtually new 737-9 MAX with more than 170 people on board tore out of the plane body shortly after take-off. No one was seriously injured in the incident involving an Alaska Airlines aircraft.

The FAA then asked Boeing to submit a plan to improve quality controls. The authority also blocked Boeing’s planned expansion of 737 Max production until further notice.

In addition, a whistleblower recently claimed that some 787 Dreamliner aircraft could have a shortened service life because the company had taken technical “shortcuts” to speed up production. The company strongly denied this.