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FAA Orders Boeing 767 Fix To Prevent Midair Explosion

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posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 08:08 PM
The article:

To prevent the catastrophic loss of a Boeing 767 from a fuel-tank explosion similar to the one that in 1996 caused the loss of TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747, the Federal Aviation Administration today ordered airlines to install automatic shutoff systems for center fuel tanks, among other measures.

The order came in what is called an airworthiness directive from the agency. The directive was intended, the agency said, to prevent overheating that "could cause an ignition source for the fuel vapors in the fuel tank and result in fuel tank explosions and consequent loss of the airplane."

According to The Associated Press:

The safety directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration gives operators of the popular airliner three years to install an automatic fuel pump shut-off system for the center fuel tanks on 767s. The concern is that if fuel in the tanks becomes too low while the pump is still operating, under certain conditions it could ignite fuel and air vapors, causing an explosion.
In the meantime, flight crews are supposed to shut-off the pumps themselves when fuel gets low.
The estimated fleetwide cost of complying with the order is $4.6 million.
Boeing spokeswoman Liz Verdier said the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer sent operators of 767s a service bulletin two years ago recommending the changes in Wednesday's FAA order. Compliance with service bulletins is voluntary. Verdier said she didn't know how many operators may have already installed the automatic shut-off systems.

A spark inside the fuel tank of TWA Flight 800 was implicated in the explosion of the Paris-bound jet shortly after its took off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The explosion and subsequent break up and crash of the aircraft off Long Island killed all 230 on board.

Airworthiness Directive:$FILE/2009-16-06.pdf

Ok, I don't know anything about aircraft, but can someone explain to me how a defect that purportedly caused a midair explosion in 1996 is only being dealt with now?

Better late than never I guess.

posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 08:15 PM
Don't you just love the speed with which the CAB, FAA and all the airlines address maintenance issues that could result in a catastrophic loss of a plane? My best

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:04 AM
Both of you should actually read the directive. Also when centre fuel tank pressure gets low an amber message will illuminate on the EICAS as well as other warnings - simple, do what they've always done - turn the pump off. Not a whole lot similar to TWA800 at all. Additonally the "auxiliary fuel tankoverride/jettison fuel pumps", are seldom used. Maybe ask WeedWacker on this one as he flew hte 767 / 757.

[edit on 6/8/2009 by C0bzz]

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 02:10 AM
theres only 20 tons between the mtow and mlw of the early 767`s - so they could well land overweight anyway with an inspection after , new ones would be 50 tons overweight MTOW>MLW and not sure if you would (im sure anyplane could ofc)

posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 03:09 AM
reply to post by Harlequin

oh yeah the feds are really on top this 10000 or so departures since twa 800 they want to make a move on the 767 they already moth balled the L1011 because it couldnt make any money with all that jet a in the center tank let them ground the 767 fleet as well that'll fix it not! we dont need this lip service from the feds i think they need to talk to the radar operater who on the night of twa 800 stated that he tracked and object that acted much like a missle ascending toward the aircraft the feds later tried to explain it away as an anomily and a temperature inversion he said oh really funny that ive been looking at this scope for about 12yrs and ive never seen this missle looking anomaly before humm maybe these anomalies only operate on 12 yr cycles you think!

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