NTSB warns of possible fire hazard on 767s
Board recommends review of all aircraft wiringJanuary 27, 1998
Web posted at: 5:36 p.m. EST (2236 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Boeing 767s could be at risk of in-flight fires or loss of control because of inadequate separation between aircraft wiring and adjacent components, the National Transportation Safety Board reported to the Federal Aviation Administration in a letter on January 15.
NTSB called on the FAA to review all aircraft wiring designs in light of recent incidents on three different aircraft.
The board cited two incidents on 767s that occurred within days of each other in 1996. In both cases, electricity jumped from the plane's wiring to cables controlling the flight control surfaces on the wings.
On one flight -- a Delta Air Lines 767 departing from Kennedy Airport in New York -- the pilots had to regain control of the plane and make an emergency landing back in New York.
In addition to the two 767 incidents, the transportation safety board cited an incident that caused an in-flight fire on a Cessna 650.
FAA recommendations for a certain amount of clearance between wiring and nearby components are not always being followed, the NTSB claims.
The board is asking the FAA to review the design, manufacture and inspection procedures of all aircraft to ensure that there is enough distance between wiring and other components to prevent the fire hazard.
Boeing said it had responded swiftly to the three incidents cited by the NTSB.
"It is important to note that as soon as the incidents occurred, we issued service bulletins," said company spokeswoman Debbie Nomaguchi.
She said FAA-conducted inspections of the clearance between the wiring and cables "showed no damage. It was an isolated problem and we fixed it."
The FAA's Tom Sweeney said his agency had made no decision yet on the NTSB's request for a review. "It's a little premature to give a definitive response to a recommendation we've had for just two weeks," he said.
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- Federal Aviation Administration
- National Transportation Safety Board
- The Boeing Company
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United, American scrutinize planes' laptop ports
Monday, July 3, 2000
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DALLAS -- Even as they equip more jetliners with power outlets for laptop
computers, the nation's two largest airlines are confronting safety concerns
over the ports. United Airlines disconnected the ports on some jets until
they can be rewired, while American is inspecting its entire fleet after an in
-flight incident. In May, wiring from an outlet on an American Airbus A300 leaving London for Boston overheated, causing a burning smell in the cabin, an airline spokesman said. The captain aborted the flight and landed in Shannon, Ireland.
"You're not going to start out over the Atlantic when you smell something and
you don't know where it's coming from," said American spokesman John Hotard.
Mechanics discovered that wiring had rubbed against a metal seat part,
causing a small hole in the wiring, which led the insulation to overheat,
Hotard said. After the incident, which was first reported in The Wall Street
Journal, the airline began an inspection of wiring on its entire 700-plane
fleet, which will be finished in July, Hotard said.