Tue, 15 Jun 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: Operators of Boeing 737 Classic aircraft have been ordered to check for possible wire failures, following an investigation into an Indonesia crash in January.

The order was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on May 14.

The 737 Classic is an older generation of planes, averaging more than 20 years old. The FAA said the issue affected 1,041 737-300, -400 and -500 Classic series airplanes worldwide. However, many of these planes are no longer flying.

Officials are concerned with the flap synchro wire, which plays a role in the operation of the aircraft's auto-throttle system.

Officials said the wire failure could go undetected by the auto-throttle computer on affected airplanes and pose a safety risk.

The FAA is requiring some quick checks, as opposed to the slower pace performed by Boeing.

Officials added that the newer 737 MAX and 737 NG are unaffected by the directive.

The FAA and Boeing first identified the problem while investigating the January 9 crash of Sriwijaya Air Flight 182 in Indonesia.

All 62 aboard were killed after the 26-year-old Boeing Co 737-500 crashed into the Java Sea after takeoff from Jakarta.

In February, Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) said the plane experienced an imbalance in engine thrust, which caused a sharp roll before a final dive into the sea.

There had been two prior problems reported with the auto-throttle system, the agency said.

On March 30, Boeing contacted operators, directing them to perform electronic checks of the auto-throttle computer every 250 flight hours to confirm the wire is connected.

The FAA said a faulty wire connection could cause the failure of the auto-throttle system.

Additionally, the FAA is requiring follow-on inspections every 2,000 flight hours.

Those U.S. operators flying the aircraft are Aloha Air Cargo, DHL, iAero Airways, Kalitta Charters and Northern Air Cargo, the FAA said.

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