WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Friday it had required the carrier of 143 classic Boeing 737 aircraft in the United States to investigate potential wiring faults caused by the operation. Investigating a plane crash in Indonesia in January
The FAA is issuing an airworthiness directive requiring operators to check the flap̵7;s synchro wires, which play a role in the aircraft’s automatic throttle system function, are tightly connected to the safety sensors. Wiring failures may not be detected by auto-throttle computers on affected aircraft and pose a safety risk.
The FAA said the issue affects the Classic 1,041 737-300, -400 and -500 series aircraft worldwide.The 737 Classic is two decades older than the 737 MAX and the newer 737 NGs are not affected. From order
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Boeing did not immediately comment.
The FAA and Boeing said the potential problems were part of an ongoing investigation into the Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 crash on January 9 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 plane crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta, killing all 62 people on board.
The FAA said there was no evidence that the flap synchronization line problem played a role in the accident. But said the possibility of a failed connection illustrates a security concern that guarantees timely attention.
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Indonesian safety investigators said in January they were investigating whether problems with the automatic accelerator system contributed to the crash, as problems were reported on a flight a few days earlier.
Boeing sent a message to operators on March 30 ordering them to conduct an electronic inspection of the automatic throttle computer to confirm that the line was connected within 250 flight hours.
The FAA requires preliminary testing within 250 flight hours or two months from now, whichever comes first. “To ensure low-rate aircraft can be corrected in a timely manner,” the operator will then make repairs if necessary.
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The FAA said a faulty connection could result in the automatic throttle system failing to detect the wing position if the aircraft’s engine was operating at different thrust settings due to other faults.
The FAA requires a follow-up audit every 2,000 hours after the initial investigation.
The FAA said the affected U.S. operators include Aloha Air Cargo, DHL, iAero Airways, Kalitta Charters and Northern Air Cargo.