The US Federal Aviation Administration will publish a new airworthiness directive, highlighting potential cargo compartment problems on the Boeing 787 and ordering the inspection of over 200 aircraft.
New Airworthiness Directive Impacts Boeing 787
Per Cirium, 222 787 aircraft will be impacted by the directive, which will be published tomorrow, February 19, 2021. This directive comes after “reports of multiple incidents” and will direct “repetitive inspections of the forward and aft cargo areas of 787s for disengaged or torn decompression panels, which should be reinstalled or replaced if necessary.”
Why do these decompression panels matter? The directive notes, “In the event of a cargo fire, significant leakage in the bilge area could result in insufficient Halon [fire extinguisher gas] concentrations to adequately control the fire.”
While the airworthiness directive is new, the problem is not. Boeing first identified this issue in 2016, issuing a service bulletin urging inspection.
— Sean Broderick (@AvMROSean) February 17, 2021
This is hardly the first directive for Boeing’s 787 program. Last autumn, the FAA issued another airworthiness directive impacting 900 of the 1,000 Dreamliners delivered over the last decade. That centered on design concerns with horizontal stabilizers and auto-pilot systems.
The airworthiness directive notes that Boeing is developing a “modification” to fix this issue. However, if this issue was known since 2016, it isn’t clear what is taking so long…