a group of airplanes parked in a row
Boeing 787 Dreamliners Accused of Being Unsafe

FAA Orders Inspections For 222 B787 Planes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a new airworthiness directive (AD) for 222 Boeing 787 family aircraft, with United States registrations.

This AD concerns the following planes:

  • B787-8
  • B787-9
  • B787-10

According to the FAA, this AD was prompted after receiving multiple incident reports of disengaged or damaged (torn) decompression panels being found in the bilge area. These panels separate the passenger compartment from the cargo compartment in an aircraft.

Required Actions

In order to address this issue, the AD requires repetitive general visual inspections of the bilge barriers, which are located in the forward and aft cargo compartments, for disengaged or damaged decompression panels; these panels should then be reinstalled or replaced if necessary.

To comply with these actions, the FAA estimates that it will take around 3 work-hours at a cost of $85 per hour; each aircraft will subsequently cost approximately $255 per inspection cycle. Once the inspection is mandatory, this will mean that there will be a total spend in the region of $56,610 per inspection cycle; this total is the sum of costs for all US airlines with 787s combined.

“In the event of a cargo fire, significant leakage in the bilge area could result in insufficient Halon (fire extinguisher gas) concentrations to adequately control the fire.”

If this situation if not addressed, it could result in the loss of continued safe flight and the ability to land the airplane safely.

Inside the Boeing South Carolina B787 Factory
Inside the Boeing South Carolina B787 Factory

The AD is effective from the 8th March, within 30 days of this date a general inspection must be performed; a repetition has to be done thereafter, at intervals not to exceed 120 days.

The FAA considers this AD an interim action, while the manufacturer develops a modification that will permanently address the unsafe condition identified in the AD.  Once this is developed, approved and available, the FAA says that it might consider additional rulemaking.

Until January 2021 Boeing had delivered 992 787 aircraft.

This new AD can be viewed in full below: