FAA Orders ‘Urgent’ Engine Fix for Some Boeing 787 Dreamliners

By Paul Riegler on 23 April 2016
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Boeing’s high-tech 787 Dreamliner is in the headlines again. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive on Friday calling for modifications to be made to specific General Electric engines installed on some models of the plane.

“We are issuing this AD to prevent susceptibility to heavy fan blade rubs, which could result in engine damage and a possible in-flight non-restartable power loss of one or both engines,” the FAA said in the directive.

Describing it as an “urgent safety issue,” the move was prompted by “a recent engine fan blade rub event that caused an in-flight non-restartable power loss” on a 787 on January 29 of this year, the FAA said.

The directive requires airlines to revise the airplane flight manual to provide the flight crew with “a revised fan ice removal procedure” as well as a “new associated mandatory flight crew briefing to reduce the likelihood of engine damage due to fan ice shedding.” For 787s with two GEnx-1B PIP2 engines, the directive requires changes to, or the replacement of, at least one engine.

The change or replacement of an engine for 787s with two of the affected engines, the FAA’s compliance time is approximately 150 days. Boeing and General Electric have announced a maintenance plan that supports this schedule, the FAA said. Swapping out a Dreamliner engine takes approximately 24 hours.

The directive covers both 787-8 and 787-9 models of the Dreamliner powered by GE GEnx-1B engines. Some Dreamliners are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines and are not affected by the problem.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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