300 Boeing 777s Used By United & American Airlines At Risk For Exploding Fuel Tanks

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s notification, 300 Boeing 777s used by United and American Airlines are at risk of exploding fuel tanks.

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Earlier this year, the FAA recommended a new airworthiness directive to address a possible defect in Boeing aircraft.

The problem, according to the FAA proposal, was an electrical malfunction on the company’s 777 aircraft that, if ignored, might result in the fuel tanks on the planes’ wings catching fire and blowing up.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s notification, the discovery of the issue exposes roughly 300 more Boeing aircraft, including those operated by United and American Airlines, as potentially dangerous.

It is yet unknown if Boeing has responded to the FAA’s request for comments by May 9 after the agency disclosed the problem in March and invited Boeing and other independent experts to do the same.

The FAA’s notification, according to a Boeing representative, was part of a “standard regulatory process that has helped ensure air travel is the safest form of transportation.” This does not immediately pose a threat to flight safety.

“There are multiple redundancies designed into modern commercial airplanes to ensure protection for electromagnetic effects. The 777 fleet has been operating for nearly 30 years, and has safely flown more than 3.9 billion passengers,” the statement continued.

Regulators have issued the scandal-plagued firm with yet another serious safety alert, following several other models of Boeing passenger jets that have experienced door plug blowouts, mid-air engine fires, and two tragic crashes that claimed 346 lives.

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This little-seen FAA ‘airworthiness directive’ proposal has warned Boeing of an ‘electrostatic discharge,’ or static electricity risk, near the center-wing fuel tanks on the 777, which the FAA advised could result in ‘an ignition source inside the fuel tank and subsequent fire or explosion’

The FAA alerted Boeing to a potential “electrostatic discharge,” or static electricity risk, in the vicinity of the center-wing fuel tanks in this proposed March 2024 airworthiness directive (AD).

The FAA stated that if the dangerous condition is left unattended, it might lead to an ignition source inside the fuel tank and a fire or explosion.

An earlier statement from the firm clarified that the FAA’s notice dated March 25, 2024, was for a “proposed rulemaking,” which asked for feedback from Boeing and other parties prior to the federal agency formally requiring any suggested fixes to its 777 series of aircraft.

The FAA estimated that correcting the 292 vulnerable Boeing 777 aircraft identified would cost Boeing, whose market capitalization is currently $113.53 billion, less than $698,000.

And each Boeing 777 would only cost $98 for the parts needed to eliminate these explosion dangers caused by “static electricity,” according to the federal agency.

The FAA explicitly asked for the installation of new “grounding” and “electrical bonding” around an air intake system close to the center-wing fuel tanks of the 777 to prevent electrostatic discharge and short-circuiting.

The government agency had reviewed a public notification from the aircraft manufacturer, officially known as “Boeing Alert Requirements Bulletin 777–47A0007 RB, dated November 21, 2023,” and used that information as the basis for their request for this crucial modification.

In March 2024, the FAA published a warning stating that ‘the unsafe condition stated before is likely to exist or evolve on other products of the same type design.’ Consequently, the agency released a proposal for a new directive.

In the end, the FAA’s draft safety order from March stated that it might require the company to update its “maintenance or inspection program” for five different 777 variants.

The FAA warning adds to the controversy currently engulfing the aerospace behemoth and its “triple seven” aircraft, which includes a whistleblower’s testimony before the Senate accusing Boeing of cutting corners during the 777’s construction.

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That Flight SQ321 death and the FAA warning join controversies already swirling about the aerospace giant and its ‘triple seven’ aircraft — including Senate testimony by Boeing whistleblower Sam Salehpour (above) who has accused Boeing of taking shortcuts when building the 777 
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Boeing whistleblower John Barnett died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound earlier this year

‘Despite what Boeing officials state publicly, there is no safety culture at Boeing,’ whistleblower Sam Salehpour told the US Senate during open hearings last month. 

‘I observed Boeing workers using improper and untested methods to align parts in the 777,’ Salehpour, once a quality engineer at Boeing, told Senate investigators. 

‘In one instance even jumping on pieces of the airplane to get them to align,’ he said.

According to Salehpour’s testimony, he was “involuntarily transferred to the 777 programs ‘in retaliation’ for his internal whistleblower activity, which raised concerns about multiple, even more, serious risks posed by the company’s 787 Dreamliner jets.”

‘I was ignored, I was told not to create delays, I was told, frankly, to shut up,’ Salehpour told the Senate’s Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations.

Public awareness of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and 777 series flaws increased following serious events involving the company’s 737 Max aircraft, such as the Boeing 737 Max 9 flight where passengers’ clothing was torn off due to a cabin pressure problem.

However, the FAA’s proposed “airworthiness directive” for Boeing on March 25, 2024, has sparked fresh worries about the 777 series of aircraft, which are the first fully computer-designed commercial airplanes and among the best-selling long-haul aircraft globally.

According to the FAA, the nitrogen-enhanced air distribution system (NEADS) “was installed without a designed electrical bond […] in the center wing tank,” which helps keep flammable oxygen away from the plane’s jet fuel.

Of the $98 worth of parts, the agency said, “This proposed AD [airworthiness directive] would require installing electrical bonding and grounding, installing the cover plate assembly with new fasteners.”

It was reported on Monday night that the protesting firefighters and Boeing would soon be able to work out a settlement.

According to KOMO, the 125 firemen who have been barred from the company since May 4 are debating an offer that would have raised their average take-home salary from $91,000 to $112,000 this year.

Striking firefighters claim that Boeing’s present advancement structure moves too slowly. The employees of Boeing’s manufacturing factories, who are frequently called upon to handle mishaps, argue that the airline should prioritize safety before profits.

The FAA’s proposed directive this March named out five types of the “triple sevens,” including the Boeing 777F, 777–200, –200LR, –300, and the –300ER.

The tragic ‘turbulence’ issue that occurred on Monday on Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321 had nothing to do with the airworthiness requirement; rather, it entailed the flight’s proximity to tropical thunderstorms.

Before the catastrophic “turbulence” incident occurred, the Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members departed London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday at 10:17 p.m. local time.

Passenger Dzafran Azmir described the experience to the New York Times as “building up, like a feeling of going up a roller coaster, up the crest, and suddenly dropping very dramatically.”

The incident was witnessed by Dzafran, a 28-year-old university student, who saw two other passengers carrying bloody gashes on their heads.

As he saw “iPads and iPhones and cushions and blankets and cutlery and plates and cups flying through the air and crashing into the ceiling,” another passenger said it felt like “all hell broke loose.”

After being redirected to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, the Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER made an emergency landing there on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.

Investigators specializing in flight safety were sent to examine the aircraft at the Thai airport.

In a video posted to the company’s Facebook page, Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong offered a public apology following Monday’s tragedy, outlining what is now known about the causes of the “extreme turbulence” occurrence.

‘We are deeply saddened by this incident,’ Phong said. ‘On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.’

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that a British man died after a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 encountered severe turbulence and suddenly dropped 6,000 feet during a London-Singapore flight.

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