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FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

FAA reveals that 300 Boeing planes could result in fuel tank explosions

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has brought attention to a concerning issue with Boeing aircraft that could lead to fuel tank explosions, adding to the litany of safety concerns surrounding the aerospace giant’s products.

According to a proposed rule from the FAA, Boeing’s 777 liner has been found to have dangerously poor electrical insulation near its fuel tank, posing a significant risk of ignition and subsequent fire or explosion. This revelation comes amid heightened scrutiny of Boeing’s aircraft due to several recent incidents highlighting potential safety flaws.

The impacted aircraft encompass nearly 300 Boeing 777s across the United States, including various models such as the 777-200, -200LR, -300, -300ER, and 777F series. In response to the discovery, the FAA has proposed a $14 million solution to address the issue across all 292 affected US-registered airplanes.

The proposed solution involves the installation of electrical bonding and grounding components in the center fuel tank, as outlined in the proposed Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued by the FAA. This comprehensive repair process includes extensive inspections, lasting approximately 90 hours per aircraft, followed by the installation of Teflon sleeves and cap fasteners in specific areas of the fuel tanks.

Crucially, the financial burden of these repairs would not fall on Boeing but on the operators and airlines that own the affected aircraft. The proposed timeline for completing the repairs extends up to 60 months.

Boeing, in response to the FAA’s proposed rulemaking, expressed its full support for making the guidance mandatory and emphasized that the issue does not present an immediate safety-of-flight concern. The company highlighted the multiple redundancies built into modern commercial airplanes to mitigate risks from electromagnetic effects.

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Airlines

IndiGo to Receive Customized Compensation from Pratt & Whitney for Engine Groundings

IndiGo to Receive Customized Compensation from Pratt & Whitney for Engine Groundings

InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of IndiGo, has reached an agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE), an affiliate of Pratt & Whitney, for customized compensation related to grounded aircraft affected by engine issues.

According to a recent PTI report, InterGlobe Aviation finalized an amendment to its existing agreement with IAE on June 14, 2024. The compensation addresses the ongoing situation where over 70 IndiGo planes have been grounded due to problems with Pratt & Whitney engines.

Specifically, more than 30 aircraft were affected by a powder metal defect, with others sidelined due to earlier issues. Although the exact financial details were not disclosed, the arrangement reflects efforts to mitigate the operational impacts faced by the airline.

Last year, Pratt & Whitney identified a rare powder metal defect that posed a risk of engine component cracking in twin-engined Airbus A320neo aircraft. This discovery necessitated accelerated inspections across affected fleets, potentially grounding 600-700 Airbus jets between 2023 and 2026.

Despite these challenges, InterGlobe Aviation reported robust financial performance in the fiscal year ending March 2024. The Gurugram-based carrier, known for its budget-friendly operations, recorded a significant increase in profit after tax to Rs 1,894.8 crore for the March quarter. This growth was driven by higher passenger traffic, expanded capacity, and favorable market conditions.

For the full fiscal year, IndiGo achieved a net profit of Rs 8,172.5 crore on a record total income of Rs 18,505.1 crore. As of March 2024, the airline operated a fleet of 367 planes, including 13 on damp lease, reinforcing its position as a dominant player in the domestic aviation sector.

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Airlines

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Investigations Reveal Fake Chinese Titanium in Boeing and Airbus Jets

Airliners manufactured by Boeing and Airbus have components made from titanium that was sold with fake documentation.

The Federal Aviation Administration (F.A.A.) revealed the problem after Boeing reported it to the agency when it was notified by parts supplier Spirit AeroSystems. Spirit AeroSystems, the same company that made the door on the 737 Max plane which suffered a door blowout on January 5, is at the center of this issue.

The falsified documents are being investigated by Spirit AeroSystems, which supplies fuselages for Boeing and wings for Airbus, as well as the F.A.A. The investigation began after a parts supplier found small holes in the material from corrosion. Spirit was testing the metal to determine if it was up to standard and structurally sound enough.

“This is about documents that have been falsified, forged, and counterfeited,” Spirit AeroSystems stated. “Once we realized the counterfeit titanium made its way into the supply chain, we immediately contained all suspected parts to determine the scope of the issues.”

The F.A.A. said in a statement that it “will investigate further the root cause of the document traceability issue and continues to monitor closely any new developments that could potentially lead to an unsafe condition in the fleet.” The agency is trying to determine the short- and long-term safety implications for planes made using the parts. It is unclear how many planes have parts made with the questionable material.

Boeing, in its statement, reported a voluntary disclosure to the F.A.A. regarding the procurement of material through a distributor who may have falsified or provided incorrect records. “Boeing issued a bulletin outlining ways suppliers should remain alert to the potential of falsified records,” the company added.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which oversees Airbus, said it learned of the issue from authorities in Italy and began an investigation. So far, the agency said, it has not found indications of a safety problem. The problem was discovered after a parts supplier found small holes in the titanium from corrosion.

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Airlines

Turkish Airlines Expands U.S Network to 20 Destinations

Turkish Airlines Expands U.S Network to 20 Destinations

Turkish Airlines, renowned for its expansive global network, currently flies to more countries than any other carrier worldwide.

Recently, the airline has expanded its reach in the United States, bringing the total number of destinations served to 14. With the recent addition of Denver and Dallas, the airline is now setting its sights on further expansion.

In a recent interview, Turkish Airlines Chairman telegraphed the next four U.S. cities that are in their crosshairs: Philadelphia, Charlotte, Orlando, and Minneapolis. These additions will join an already impressive roster that includes Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington Dulles.

As of now, Turkish Airlines operates flights to 14 destinations across the United States. The confirmed destinations include Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington (IAD).

Bolat, in his interview, indicated that Turkish Airlines plans to eventually serve 20 destinations in the United States. The proposed new routes to Philadelphia, Charlotte, Orlando, and Minneapolis would bring the total to 18, suggesting there are two additional cities potentially on the horizon.

However, it’s important to note that flights from Minneapolis and Orlando directly to Istanbul are not imminent, as the airline has not yet made any official announcements, and ticket sales have not commenced. Additionally, representatives from Minneapolis airport have not commented on the possibility of nonstop service to Istanbul.

The airline’s ambitious expansion plans are supported by the acquisition of numerous additional widebody planes over the next few years, necessitating new destinations to deploy these aircraft. Turkish Airlines’ strategy appears to be targeting major American Airlines hubs, ensuring a strong presence across key U.S. cities.

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