FAA finds Boeing 787 jets’ wheels and tires could lose braking and steering function

EXCLUSIVE: More safety concerns for Boeing as FAA says its ‘Dreamliner’ planes could lose braking and steering function – taking nearly 100 of the 787 jets out of the air for $5million repairs

  • The Federal Aviation Administration have identified safety flaws in Boeing’s 787 jets – called the Dreamliner, DailyMail.com can reveal. 
  • The tires and wheels of the 787-9 and 787-8 jets ‘could be susceptible to damage, which could result in a loss of braking on one main landing gear truck’
  • The FAA also found an issue that could see a ‘loss of nose wheel steering and loss of directional control on the ground when below rudder effectiveness speed’ 
  • Repairs required to fix this particular safety concern will cost more than $5million, the FAA reports 
  • This model is flown by 72 major airlines including United, Virgin Atlantic and American and will affect an estimated 87 airplanes

Boeing has been hit by new safety concerns affecting two further plane models and requiring million of dollars worth of repairs.

It is just two days since the Federal Aviation Administration announced a new problem with the company’s 300 grounded 737 MAX jets.

Now, DailyMail.com can disclose, the beleaguered air giant has been handed new Airworthiness Directives by regulators who have identified safety flaws in Boeing’s 787 jets – the company’s so-called Dreamliner.

According to the FAA the tires/wheels of the recently launched 787-9 and 787-8 ‘could be susceptible to damage, which could result in a loss of braking on one main landing gear truck, loss of nose wheel steering and loss of directional control on the ground when below rudder effectiveness speed.’

The regulators’ directive will be effective from Thursday, June 6 and affects an estimated 87 airplanes on the US registry.

The 787 Dreamliner is flown by 72 major airlines around the world, including United, Virgin Atlantic and American and Boeing recently announced 235 new routes. 

UK airlines British Airways and TUI Airways also use the Dreamliner model. BA has 12 787-8’s in its fleet and 18 787-9’s.  

The Federal Aviation Administration have identified safety flaws in Boeing’s 787 jets – called the Dreamliner, DailyMail.com can reveal

The tires and wheels of the 787-9 and 787-8 jets 'could be susceptible to damage, which could result in a loss of braking on one main landing gear truck,' according to the FAA

The tires and wheels of the 787-9 and 787-8 jets ‘could be susceptible to damage, which could result in a loss of braking on one main landing gear truck,’ according to the FAA

Boeing has proudly boasted that its 787 Dreamliner fleet is an ‘industry leader,’ the largest of which can fly 330 passengers internationally.

The model is flown by 72 major airlines including United, Virgin Atlantic and American and Boeing recently announced 235 new routes.

The FAA estimates that the repairs required to rectify this particular safety concern will cost operators more than $5million.

Further directives require airlines to conduct detailed inspections of particular parts in all 787s in their fleets following reports of damage causing dangerous hydraulic leakage in the case of lightning strikes.

Boeing spokesman Paul Bergman told DailyMail.com in a statement, ‘Boeing works closely with the FAA to monitor the fleet for potential safety issues and take appropriate actions. This is a continuous and ongoing process.’

He said that, for their part, the issues had, ‘been resolved with system improvements that have been incorporated into production of all 787 models.’

The new FAA directives compel operators to make the required repairs on affected aircraft already in use in their fleets.

According to Mr. Bergman these directives, ‘align with recommendations that the company had issued in two separate service bulletins to operators.’

He added, ‘Boeing’s recommendations are not binding on operators.’

This comes after two of Boeing's 737-MAX jets crashed operated by airlines Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, killing 346 people altogether. Pictured is the site of the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March

This comes after two of Boeing’s 737-MAX jets crashed operated by airlines Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, killing 346 people altogether. Pictured is the site of the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March 

The new directives come as an additional blow to the company already racing to get their 737-MAX jets back in the air following the two fatal crashes that saw them grounded.

The company’s most popular jet was grounded in March after a fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash.

It followed the devastating crash of a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October.

There were no survivors in the two crashes that together killed 346 people.

Back in April Boeing revealed that those two fatal crashes had cost them at least $1billion as it abandoned its 2019 financial outlook, halted share buybacks and lowered production.

The company’s shares have fallen by nearly 20 percent since the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and fell to their lowest level this year following the FAA’s announcement on Sunday that the wings on more than 300 737s may contain faulty parts.

Some international carriers have voiced skepticism that the plans will be back in the air by August as some US airlines have suggested.

But Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has maintained that he is still the right man for the job despite that difficulties and safety concerns that have plagued the company.

When asked if he was still the right person to lead the Seattle-based airplane manufacturer, Muilenberg told CNBC on Monday, ‘Yes, I think I am and certainly I’m committed to our objectives as a company around safety and integrity and quality.’

 


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