FAA Issues Emergency Inspection Order for Boeing 737s Due to Engine Issue

July 24, 2020 by Dan McCue
A Boeing 737 Max gives a display during the opening day of the Farnborough International Airshow in Hampshire, England on July 16, 2018. (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire via ZUMA Press)

WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency directive Friday ordering operators of the Boeing 737 passenger jet to inspect and potentially replace a key engine component following four reports of unexpected engine shutdowns.

The FAA’s “emergency airworthiness directive” applies to any 737 that has been in storage, which covers any plane that has not been flown in a week. 

Operators will be required to inspect and potentially replace a certain valve that can get stuck in the open position. The agency said it has received four reports of engines shutting down because of the stuck valve.

“Corrosion of these valves on both engines could result in a dual-engine power loss without the ability to restart,” the agency says in the four-page directive. 

“This condition, if not addressed, could result in compressor stalls and dual-engine power loss without the ability to restart, which could result in a forced off-airport landing,” the directive says.

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There are thousands of 737s in airline fleets worldwide. As a result, the order could have far-reaching effects on airlines, particularly given how many planes are sitting idle thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order also comes as Boeing continues to work to get the 737 Max back into the air. That version of the popular passenger jet has been grounded for 16 months following two fatal crashes.

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