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Sat, Mar 07, 2009

FAA Revises Boeing 777 Airworthiness Directive

Comes In Response To British Airways Incident At Heathrow

The FAA has published in the Federal Register a revised airworthiness directive for Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with Rolls-Royce engines.

The new AD adds further procedures to prevent ice buildup that can clog fuel lines. It comes in response to the British investigation of a Boeing 777 accident at Heathrow in January 2008, which found ice can accumulate in the main fuel tank system of the aircraft at the low fuel temperatures and low-power fuel flows associated with long flights.

As ANN reported, investigators also determined that when the pilot increases power, the increased fuel flow in the tank can cause the ice to break free... which can then block the flow of fuel to the engines.

Airlines have 10 days to comply with the new directive. The new directive affects 56 aircraft in the US fleet, and a total of 228 worldwide.

Initial review of other 777 engine combinations has not revealed the same vulnerability to ice buildup in the fuel lines. The FAA says it is working with European aviation safety organizations to consider the implications of this investigation on other aircraft/engine combinations.

FMI: www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/airworthiness_directives/

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