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FAA finds fuel leaks and factory flaws on some new Boeing 787s

The FAA ordered Boeing's entire fleet of 787 jets to be inspected for a possible fuel line problem. (AP file photo)

After receiving reports of fuel leaks on two Boeing Dreamliners that were in service, the FAA is ordering airlines to inspect all 787s for a fuel line problem that happened in the factory.

An FAA directive issued late Tuesday says they’ve discovered “several improperly assembled engine fuel feed manifold couplings.”

That’s included couplings with missing or improperly installed lockwire, parts within the couplings installed in the wrong locations, incorrect parts installed in the couplings, and couplings that have extra parts installed.

The FAA says the problems, if not corrected, could result in fuel leaks and eventually loss of engine power, or “leaks on hot engine parts that could lead to a fire.”

A United 787 made an emergency in New Orleans on Tuesday because of a mechanical issue on a 13-day-old Dreamliner.

The flight, from Houston to Newark, New Jersey, landed safely without incident.

The new FAA headache for Boeing comes as the company resumed talks with SPEEA, the union for engineers and technical workers.

Union leaders described the meeting as “frustrating and often confrontational session.”

They say Boeing negotiators rejected SPEEA proposals limiting the use of mandatory overtime and adding provisions for maternity and paternity leave.


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