FAA reviews Boeing Dreamliner quality-control laps, WSJ report

A Boeing logo sits on the fuselage of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, manufactured by the Boeing Company, as it stands on display before the opening of the Farnborough International Airshow on Sunday, July 13, 2014 in Farnborough, UK.

Simon Dawson / Bloomberg

The Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing quality-control laps at Boeing that could drag back nearly a decade, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing an internal government memo and people familiar with the case.

A review pile on several regulatory issues Boeing faced in the wake of two accidents, including its 737 MAX aircraft, that killed all 346 people on both flights. Since then, Boeing has faced renewed scrutiny over its safety standards and manufacturing protocols, as well as a deluge of questions from both regulators and lawmakers. Its 737 MAX planes are grounded.

Reportedly, this latest evaluation was inspired by production issues at a Boeing 787 Dreamliner factory. An internal FAA memo reviewed by the Journal showed Boeing notified regulators that it had produced parts that did not meet its own design and manufacturing standards. As a result, as many as approximately 900 of the nearly 1,000 Dreamliners delivered since 2011 may require enhanced or accelerated inspection, according to the high-level FAA review.

Boeing told regulators that a flaw in the Dreamliners from a quality lapse would not pose an immediate safety risk, people familiar with the case told the Journal, and regulators are not planning immediate action. In August, Boeing decided to let the airlines land eight aircraft for immediate repair due to a combination of that defect and a recently discovered assembly-line defect.

A Boeing spokesperson said in a statement that the company identified two separate manufacturing issues that, on their own, still meet the limits load conditions. But when combined, they “result in conditions that do not meet our design standards.” Boeing has notified the FAA and is conducting its own review of the “root cause,” according to the statement, and immediately contacted the airlines operating the eight affected airplanes to notify the situation, and the airplanes temporarily Those removed from service can be repaired. ”

“Safety and quality are Boeing’s top priority; we are taking appropriate steps to resolve these issues and prevent them from happening again,” the statement said. “The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been fully briefed, and we will continue to work closely with them further.”

The FAA did not immediately comment on the journal’s report.

Read the full report in The Wall Street Journal.

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