Aerospace & Defense

Boeing under the microscope as FAA orders 767 safety checks

Boeing 767 jet.
Source: Boeing

U.S. aviation regulators plan to order safety checks of more than 400 Boeing 767 jets because of movable tail sections that may jam and possibly cause some pilots to lose control of the aircraft, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

An order by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), set for publication in Monday's Federal register, calls for beefed up inspections of a flight control mechanism, known as an "elevator," which helps planes climb and descend, the business daily reported.

Spokespeople for Boeing and the FAA could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

Elevators that do not work properly have not been identified as causing a 767 accident, the Journal reported. The FAA first became aware of the problem in 2000, when it ordered enhanced checks to find problems. The inspections at that time were viewed as a temporary response. Boeing eventually designed a permanent fix, which the FAA order will direct airlines to make, according the Journal.

The mandate takes effect in March and requires U.S. airlines to replace suspicious parts within six years, according to the Journal.

Separately, Indonesian budget airline Lion Air said on Monday it planned to cancel an order for five 787s, and replace them with smaller 737 models.

The carrier said it needed widebody aircraft to accommodate more than the roughly 250-passenger capacity of the 787-8, and will place a new order for aircraft in 2015.

The 737s will join a fleet that already includes a large number of that model. The widebody aircraft it intends to order next year will be used on domestic, high-frequency routes, the company said.

—By Reuters