FAA proposes fix for 737's errant cabin entertainment wires
By John Croft
The US Federal Aviation Administration wants Boeing 737 operators based in the USA to install new circuit breakers, relays, wiring and switches in the cabin to give flightcrews the ability to remove electrical power from errant in-flight entertainment systems.
The proposed airworthiness directive is based on an FAA analysis of 180 IFE systems on various aircraft, efforts originally spawned by the September 1998 crash of Swissair Flight 111, a Boeing MD-11, off the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada.
Canadian safety officials determined that the crash was instigated by electrical arcing from an IFE system.
"The review results indicated that unsafe conditions exist on some IFE systems installed on various transport category aircraft," the FAA says, pointing specifically to IFE systems it found that cannot be de-energised without removing power from systems needed for flight and landing, those that require the crew to pull circuit breakers to remove power, or crew procedures that have "not been properly revised" after installation of an IFE.
In particular, the FAA found that "certain" 737 models must be modified to include a switch in the flight compartment that will allow flightcrews to turn off power to IFE systems and other non-essential electrical systems "in the event of smoke or fumes". Boeing issued service bulletins in 2004 and 2007 aimed at addressing the problems.
The agency says 1,176 aircraft on the US registry could be affected by the rule, with proposed upgrades costing about $15 million. Comments on the proposed rule are due by 24 December .
|Powered by Social Strata|