Big777jet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1956 times:
Gov't Orders Boeing Jets Inspected for Faulty Fuel Pumps
By LAURIE KELLMAN
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (Aug. 30) - The government ordered U.S. airlines Friday to inspect 1,440 Boeing jets to determine if they have a potentially faulty fuel pump that could cause an explosion.
The Federal Aviation Administration's emergency order stressed that no serious incidents have been linked to problems with the pumps, which are made by Hydro-Aire Inc. of Burbank, Calif., and were installed in January and April on Boeing 737s, 747s and 757s.
The airlines were given four days to inspect their fleets. The FAA estimated 1,250 pumps could have a problem with wires that were placed too close to a rotor and can chafe. Since one plane can have several pumps, it was not immediately clear how many aircraft might have the flaw.
Ron Wojnar, the FAA's deputy director of aircraft certification services, said any airlines that installed Hydro-Aire's pumps in the Boeing models since January are being ordered to keep enough fuel in the tanks to cover the devices even when the planes bank or encounter turbulence in flight.
''This is not an unsafe condition,'' he said, explaining that the submersion would prevent any sparks from igniting fuel vapors.
The FAA's inspection order affects 515 of the 737s, 247 of the 747s, and 678 of the 757s operated by U.S. carriers.
Foreign airlines operate about 2,100 of the jets. The FAA is sending advisories about the pumps to its counterpart agencies in those countries.
The FAA will issue a follow-up directive in a few weeks, instructing carriers to repair or replace any faulty pumps, Wojnar said.
The pumps are located in the center fuel tank under the fuselage. Some planes may also have pumps in wing tanks.
Boeing spokeswoman Liz Veridier said her company sent the airlines a bulletin Wednesday ordering the pumps replaced on 116 new planes that had been put into use this year.
Greg Ward, president of Hydro-Aire, said the problem appears to have occurred while the pumps were being assembled. Hydro-Aire, meanwhile, has X-rayed all of the pumps that had not yet been shipped to Boeing-about 150 pumps-and found about 3 percent contained the wiring problem, Ward said.
He said one pump that the company took apart after it was returned by an airline contained a wire that had been rubbed by a nearby rotor, creating concern of a potential spark.
''When you have fuel covering the pump there's no oxygen, so there can be no fire,'' he said.
Other 737s, 747s and 757s were ordered to fly only with their tanks full enough to cover the pumps until further inspections could be carried out, said Boeing's Veridier.
The problem was detected on three planes that had pumps short out and stop working, giving the crew an indication of low pressure in the tank, said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.
The British carrier easyJet sent the pump back to Hydro-Aire on Aug. 12 after the crew of one of its Boeing 737s detected low pressure, Dorr said. A week later, a Northwest Airlines 747-400 reported a low pressure indication and found the same problem, he said. A China Southern Airlines 747-400 experienced the same trouble.
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled that an explosion in the center fuel tank of TWA Flight 800 caused it to crash off the coast of Long Island in 1996. It said vapors in the partly empty tank probably were ignited by a spark in wiring.
The Paris-bound Boeing 747 exploded in a fireball at 13,700 feet, minutes after leaving John F. Kennedy International Airport. All 230 people on board were killed. ''All of our pumps that were on Flight 800 were recovered and not found to be contributors to the crash,'' Ward said.
FDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1918 times:
The FAA are very big on potential wiring problems in the fuel tanks.
A couple of years ago, some airlines found evidence of fuel pump wire harness arcing in the fuel tank conduits. An AD was generated that all 727's (and some 737's) required the fuel boost pump wire harness to be inspected for chafing or signs of arcing where the wires ran through conduits. Then the harness had to be incapsulated in a teflon sheath prior to reinstalling. We usually made new harnesses rather than insert the old ones back.
Way back when at PEX, I remember an emergency AD to inspect all fuel boost pumps for a certain part or serial number. As each plane came in, this inspection had to be accomplished prior to its departing. I seem to remember a flurry of 737's arriving EWR missing a boost pump access panel or two. The panel can appear secure when in fact it's barely holding on.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1878 times:
A little more info on how many aircraft it may affect...
Boeing has identified 118 planes delivered this year that had a total of about 850 of the suspect pumps installed during production, a spokesperson for the manufacturer told AviationNow.com. They include 17 747s with about. 250 pumps as well as 93 737NGs and eight 757s with. 600 pumps combined.
Because the other 400 pumps could be in parts inventories as spares, they could be on any of 1,200
37NGs, 1,150 757s, or 1,020 747s in service worldwide. The FAA directive covers the 515 737s, 247 47s, and 678 757s registered in the U.S. The agency has sent the directive to its counterparts in other order.
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1847 times:
>>>NBC Nightly News also mentioned more than 3000 jets worldwide, excluding US.
The media has a tendency to focus purely on numbers, and lose the context in the process...
Boeing said 118 aircraft had 850 of the suspect pumps installed, so that's the majority of the pumps. The remaining 400 suspect pumps are spares and may be installed on a possible eligible fleet of 3,370 aircraft (1200 737s, 1150 757s, 1020 747s). I would expect that a fair number of those 400 (spare) pumps are still on shelves and have never been installed. Thus, it's essentially a matter of checking 3,370 aircraft to see if one of a couple of hundred suspect pumps are installed. It shouldn't take long...
Don't mean to sound as I'm diminishing the purpose or intend of the AD, but it's not as if ALL 3,370 eligible aircraft are flying with suspect pumps, as the media might have folks believe.
SSTjumbo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1749 times:
"Just a small point. The airlines inspect and fix the aircraft."
Detective SSTjumbo grills FDXmech as the light shines bright in FDXmech's face. SSTjumbo suddenly barks out in his gruff New Yawker accent...Enuff with the BS, answa my question, what kind of time frame woulds we be looking at for all 'da planes ta be inspected?
Singapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13744 posts, RR: 19
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1638 times:
Asian airlines are checking to see if they are affected by the potentially-exploding fuel pump.
Qantas and Virgin Blue of Australia have begun checks on their aircraft. All aircraft are flying with extra fuel said Australia's CASA.
"If the pumps are covered with fuel then there can be no sparks and explosion," Peter Gibson of CASA said, adding both airlines would inspect all pumps within the next few days.
Singapore Airlines Limited, the world's most profitable airline, said that it's subsidiary SIA Cargo was affected, while Singapore Airlines was not. A MegaArk 747-400F has the defect pump. "We've only been using it for only one or two years," said a spokesman.
"After the thorough check, we don't have to be worried now," said Chailerk Thipayachan, head of Thai Airways' engineering and technical department. Thai Airways has no defect pumps.