Boeing investigating quality issue on undelivered 787 Dreamliner planes

Boeing is investigating whether some fasteners on its undelivered 787 Dreamliner planes have been incorrectly installed, the aircraft maker told FOX Business. 

A Boeing spokesperson said Friday that “Our 787 team is checking fasteners in the side-of-body area of some undelivered 787 Dreamliner airplanes to ensure they meet our engineering specifications.”

“The in-service fleet can continue to safely operate,” the spokesperson added, noting that the issue was discovered during its regular quality control checks. “We are taking the time necessary to ensure all airplanes meet our delivery standards prior to delivery. We are working closely with our customers and the FAA and keeping them updated.” 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told The Wall Street Journal that Boeing has disclosed it may have “improperly installed fuselage fasteners” on certain 787 Dreamliner aircraft. 

FAA WON’T APPROVE INCREASED 737 MAX PRODUCTION IN NEAR FUTURE 

“The FAA is investigating and is working closely with Boeing to determine appropriate actions and to ensure an immediate fix in the production system,” the agency added. 

The FAA in February already ordered Boeing to develop a comprehensive plan to correct quality control issues after a door plug flew off a 737 MAX-9 mid-flight during an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5. 

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“Boeing provided that plan to the FAA on May 30th. This plan does not mark the end of a phase of increased oversight of Boeing and its suppliers. In fact, it’s the beginning of a long journey,” FAA administrator Michael Whitaker testified Thursday during a hearing in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. 

“There must be a fundamental shift in the company’s safety culture in order to holistically address its quality and safety challenges,” he added. “This is about systemic change, and there’s a lot of work to be done.  

BOEING EMPLOYEES’ SAFETY, QUALITY CONCERNS SURGE DRAMATICALLY 

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

“Our goal is to make sure Boeing implements the necessary changes and has the right tools in place to sustain those changes in the long term. Since January 5th, we have added more safety inspectors at the Boeing and Spirit facilities to closely scrutinize and monitor production,” Whittaker also said. “Our enhanced oversight activities include more direct engagement of company employees, additional inspections at critical points of the production process, and ongoing audits of the quality systems and build process.” 

Separately, the FAA revealed on Thursday it is investigating a “substantial” incident involving a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Max plane that experienced a “Dutch roll” – which is described by Boeing as a “side to side” rocking motion – during a flight from Phoenix to Oakland, California, on May 25. 

Boeing 787 Dreamliners being built

 

The New York Times also reported Friday that the FAA is investigating alleged counterfeit titanium parts that have got into some recently manufactured Boeing and Airbus planes. 

FOX Business’ Breck Dumas and Daniella Genovese contributed to this report. 

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