Boeing Dreamliner makes emergency landing; FAA issues directives for inspections

The Federal Aviation Association issued an airworthiness directive Wednesday requiring inspections of fuel line connectors on Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.

The FAA issued the directive after receiving reports of fuel leaks on two in-service 787 and the discovery of several improperly assembled engine fuel feed manifold couplings on in-service and production airplanes, it said in the directive.

“These conditions, if not corrected, could result in fuel leaks, which could lead to fuel exhaustion, engine power loss or shutdown, or leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire,” the directive said.

Cowen and Co. analyst Cai von Rumohr noted in a report that 787 customers have already voluntarily completed the inspections on about half of the aircraft delivered.

On Tuesday,  a United Airlines’ flight bound for Newark, N.J., from Houston made an emergency landing in New Orleans after pilots received a “fault”  message.

The plane, which was delivered to the airline Nov. 27., landed safely.

The incident is under investigation. United is working with the FAA to determine its cause, reports said.

The FAA’s directive requires ensuring that lockwire is installed correctly on the engine fuel feed manifold couplings and inspection of the assembly of the engine fuel feed manifold and couplings.

“The incident still is being investigated but looks like it may be minor and (an) easily correctable introductory glitch,” von Rumohr said in his report.