U.S. FAA finalizes directive relating to 737 MAX potential engine power loss

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finalized its directive relating to the inspection of a key 737 MAX component that, if faulty, could result in engine power loss. The airworthiness directive was initially produced in February in response to a service bulleting issued by Boeing back in December 2019.

The directive related to concerns that certain 737 MAX exterior panels on top of the engine may lack the electrical bonding necessary to ensure adequate shielding of underlying wiring from the electromagnetic effects of high-power radio frequency transmitters and other sources. The FAA warded that it: “could potentially lead to a dual-engine power loss event and/or display of hazardously misleading” data, which could result in a “forced off-airport landing.”

Boeing has confirmed that it supports “the FAA’s airworthiness directive, which makes our recommended action mandatory” in addressing the potential impact of electrical energy on the 737 MAX. In December, Boeing said the issue affected airplanes built between February 2018 and June 2019 and that “the protective foil inside the composite panels may have gaps.”

Post inspection, airlines will replace any excessively reworked panels and modify an assembly, thus ensuring adequate electrical bonding.

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