Fears over aircraft safety rise as Boeing is fined

Boeing HAS been fined $500,000 for failing to report cracks found in one of its 737 jets in August 1997, intensifying concerns over aircraft safety. The news follows on the heels of last month’s crash of an Air France Concorde just outside Paris which killed 114 people. US aircraft manufacturer Boeing faces a further $741,000 […]

Boeing HAS been fined $500,000 for failing to report cracks found in one of its 737 jets in August 1997, intensifying concerns over aircraft safety.

The news follows on the heels of last month’s crash of an Air France Concorde just outside Paris which killed 114 people.

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing faces a further $741,000 fine for failing to report quality control violations among suppliers. The fines have been imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration which said that the bulkhead cracks found on a 737-100 should have been reported within 24 hours and that bulkhead inspections should now be carried out after every 1,200 cabin pressurisation cycles.

Boeing claims it receives 100,000 fault messages from aircraft operators every year and that it has to sift through them all to decide which to forward to the FAA. Boeing said both delays were caused by engineers wanting to ensure that the problem was a safety issue.

The supplier quality violations were detected by FAA inspectors at four subcontractors: Northrop Grumman, Aerospace Technologies of Australia, Parker Control Systems of the US and Japan’s Kayaba Industries. Boeing will be liable if any malpractice on their part is established.

Boeing has also agreed to pay the US government $54m to settle a long-standing legal action connected to two fatal US army Chinook crashes in 1988 and 1991. The US government claimed that Boeing and two sub-contractors sold the army more than 140 helicopters with defective gears. The army’s whole Chinook fleet has been grounded since January this year.

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