China's older aircraft to be inspected in wake of US incident

13:34, April 12, 2011      

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The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently issued an airworthiness directive requiring domestic airlines to inspect older Boeing 737s following the emergency grounding of an aircraft in the United States.

A Boeing 737 operated by U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines was forced to make an emergency landing on April 1 because of a hole in its fuselage. Shortly afterwards, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency airworthiness directive requiring older Boeing 737 planes to be inspected, and Boeing Company urged operators of its Boeing 737-300, 737-400, and 737-500 planes to check lap joints carefully.

For safety concerns, the CAAC issued an airworthiness directive ordering domestic airlines to inspect the mentioned Boeing 737 models. Airplanes that have accumulated between 30,000 and 35,000 total flight cycles (one takeoff and one landing equals one cycle) should be inspected within 20 days after receipt of the directive, and airplanes with 35,000 total flight cycles or more should be inspected within four days.

A CAAC official said on April 10 that domestic passengers should feel reassured because most Boeing aircraft operated by Chinese airlines are new models and only have a small number of flight cycles.

Domestic airlines said that no cracks have been found during checks of their Boeing 737 aircraft. A spokesperson for China Southern Airlines (CSA) said that most of its Boeing 737 fleet are new models, namely the Boeing 737-700 and 737-800.

CSA does not operate Boeing 737-400 or 737-500, and the 737-300 aircraft it operates have accumulated fewer than 35,000 total flight cycles, so passengers can rest assured that CSA's flights are safe and secure.

By People's Daily Online

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