China Orders Safety Checks On Boeing 737 Planes

March 22, 2010 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Consumer

The Civil Aviation Administration of China has issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive which asks all domestic airlines to conduct inspections of Boeing 737 aircraft due to concerns over the elevator control mechanism and report the result of the inspections within ten days.

According to an official from the CAAC, the order involves 400 Boeing 737 aircraft, including Boeing 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900 and -900ER. The CAAC indicates that the problem is a serious safety hazard and airlines will be ordered to stop the operation of the aircraft if they do not comply with the directive.

The CAAC's directive follows a similar one issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration which requested that all the Boeing aircraft listed above be checked for loose elevator tabs caused by fractured mounting lugs. The FAA's directive came after an accident on March 2, 2010 when a Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Ryanair experienced excessive vibration when flying from the Netherlands to Madrid.

Boeing's China branch said that it has informed its Chinese customers about the problem and promised to provide the necessary technical support for the inspection. The domestic airlines in China have also confirmed to Boeing that they are already aware of the problem and are inspecting the planes.

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