FAA warns of safety hazard from leaky faucets in Boeing 787, calls for inspections
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is calling for inspections of all Boeing 787 jets amid recurring problems with leaky bathroom faucets that regulators worry could harm the massive airliner’s electronic systems.
The FAA on Friday issued a proposal for repetitive inspections of Boeing 787 jetliners, which the company calls the Dreamliner, in the wake of "multiple" cases of water leaking from lavatories under the cabin floor and into bays where electronic equipment is stored.
In calling for the inspections, the FAA said the leaks threatened to damage critical electronic equipment that could potentially lead to a "loss of continued safe flight and landing."
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The agency indicated that after one unidentified airline discovered wet carpet in the plane’s cockpit and inspected the rest of its 787 fleet it found "multiple" planes with leaking faucets.
Boeing notified airlines about the issue in November, which it traced back to a problem with an O-ring seal that led to a slow leak of about 8 ounces of water per hour.
The aircraft manufacturer said it believes the issue is limited to certain 787s, although the FAA’s proposed order would apply to all 787 jetliners in U.S. fleets.
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The FAA said the extra inspections are a temporary measure while the manufacturer of the faucet modules rolls out a fix for the problem. The regulator’s proposed order would become final after a 45-day comment period.
A Boeing spokesman said the redesign is complete the company is working with the supplier and customers with 787s to determine when the planes can undergo a retrofit with the new parts.
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is a widebody passenger plane that’s larger than the 737 MAX that airlines often use for long-haul and international flights.
Its production has gone through several delays in recent years, but deliveries resumed last month after the company addressed a component data issue that caused the latest stoppage.