Isle 737 inspections to finish on time
Operators of long-range Boeing 737 jets serving Hawaii say they'll be done inspecting their wing-slat mechanism well ahead of a shortened Federal Aviation Administration deadline.
Aloha Airlines spokesman Stu Glauberman said the carrier expected to finish examining the last of its eight 737-700s yesterday.
Meanwhile, ATA Holdings Corp. expects to be done inspecting the 12 737-800s in its fleet -- seven of which are used on its Hawaii routes -- by Monday, spokeswoman Maya Wagle said.
On Saturday, the FAA told eight airlines that operate long-range 737-600, -700, -800, -900 and -900ER jets to inspect them within 24 days, based on findings about a fire that destroyed a China Airlines 737 in Okinawa last week.
But on Tuesday, the agency The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration yesterday shortened the deadline to 10 days.
FAA spokesman Les Dorr said the initial inspections this week had found two planes in which parts had come off the downstop assembly of the wing slats, which slide out the front edge of the wings during takeoff and landing to allow flight at lower speeds.
The Aug. 20 fire on a China Airlines Boeing 737-800A was probably caused by a loose wing-slat bolt that punctured a fuel tank, trade publication Air Transport World reported last week, citing Japanese safety investigators. All 165 passengers and crew members escaped before the fire, which began after the plane landed in Okinawa, Japan.
Other airlines using Boeing 737 models covered by the inspection order are American Airlines, Southwest Airlines Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., Continental Airlines Inc., AirTran Holdings Inc. and Alaska Air Group Inc., the FAA has said. American Airlines is a unit of AMR Corp.