FAA Orders Inspections of Boeing Dreamliners for Fuel Leaks

Andrew Klips  |

Shares of Boeing Co. (BA) have rebounded in early afternoon trading Wednesday after trading 1 percent lower in the morning upon a report being released by the Federal Aviation Administration ordering immediate inspection of fuel lines in 787 Dreamliners made by the aviation giant.

The news, first reported by Bloomberg, said that the FAA issued the air worthiness directive after fuel leaks on two in-service airplanes, operated by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.  Subsequent investigation of the leaks revealed “couplings with missing or improperly installed lockwire, parts within the couplings installed in the wrong locations, incorrect parts installed in the couplings, and couplings that have extra parts installed,” according to the government report.

The order requires inspection of fuel feed manifold couplings and assemblies which could “result in fuel leaks and consequent fuel exhaustion, engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire.”

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There are a total of forty 787 planes in service throughout the world, but only three in the United States, which are operated by United Airlines (UAL).

Separately, a United 787 Dreamliner departed Houston, Texas this morning bound for New Jersey and had to make an emergency landing in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Although not confirmed by the airline at this point, the problem was deemed to be electrical, though, and not related to the aforementioned fuel line issues, according to a report on NYCAviation.com.   Flight 1146, carrying 174 passengers and 10 crew members, landed safely in New Orleans about 9:45 am.

Shares of BA are trading at $74 each, essentially flat for the day while being up about 2 percent in 2012.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered fuel line inspections of couplings in engine pylons of Boeing Co.'s BA -0.34%  787 Dreamliners, according to a statement from the government agency on Wednesday. The FAA made the move after it received reports of two in-service fuel leaks on aircraft operated by foreign airlines and later discovered "improperly assembled" fuel couplings on in-service and production airplanes. Boeing shares fell 1.1% in recent trades.

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