Boeing Issues Advisory Following Incident on New Zealand-Bound Flight

Boeing Issues Advisory Following Incident on New Zealand-Bound Flight

In response to a harrowing mid-flight incident involving a LATAM aircraft bound for New Zealand, Boeing has issued a cautionary advisory urging operators of its 787 Dreamliner model to inspect specific switches located in the cockpit.

In a statement released on Friday, the aerospace giant emphasized ongoing investigations into Flight LA800 and deferred to the relevant authorities for any conclusive findings. Boeing underscored a proactive measure, reminding operators of a service bulletin from 2017 outlining instructions for inspecting and maintaining switches on flight deck seats. It recommended conducting these inspections during the next scheduled maintenance opportunity.

While Boeing regularly communicates recommendations to its clientele, this advisory is particularly significant due to the severity of the incident. The Chilean carrier LATAM was en route from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand on Monday when the aircraft suddenly experienced a dramatic descent, resulting in injuries to numerous passengers, with some requiring hospitalization.

While LATAM attributed the incident to a “technical event,” reports from the Wall Street Journal, citing industry sources, suggest that human error may have played a role. According to these sources, a crew member inadvertently activated a switch on the pilot’s seat, leading to unintended consequences.

LATAM declined to comment on the matter, citing the ongoing investigation, while Boeing similarly refrained from providing further details.

In response to the incident, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the formation of a Corrective Action Review Board (CARB) comprising safety experts to examine the issue and provide feedback to Boeing. This process will involve a review of the 2017 service bulletin concerning the switches in the pilot seats.

Boeing has faced a series of safety challenges in recent years, including the tragic crashes involving 737 MAX planes in 2018 and 2019, as well as other incidents such as a fuselage panel detaching mid-flight from a Boeing 737 MAX 9 Alaska Airlines jet earlier this year. These issues have prompted regulatory scrutiny, with US authorities giving Boeing 90 days to address quality control concerns.

As a result of these challenges, Boeing’s share price has experienced a significant decline since the beginning of the year.

– Agency

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