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Debris Found in Undelivered 737MAx FUEL TANKS

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Debris Found in Undelivered 737MAx FUEL TANKS

Old 19th Feb 2020, 03:52
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Debris Found in Undelivered 737MAx FUEL TANKS

737 Max: Debris found in planes' fuel tanks

  • 1 hour ago

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESBoeing's crisis-hit 737 Max jetliner faces a new potential safety issue as debris has been found in the fuel tanks of several of the planes.

The head of Boeing's 737 programme has told employees that the discovery was "absolutely unacceptable".

A Boeing spokesman said the company did not see the issue further delaying the jet's return to service.

It comes as the 737 Max remains grounded after two fatal crashes.

The US plane maker said it discovered so-called "Foreign Object Debris" left inside the wing fuel tanks of several undelivered 737 Maxs.

A company spokesman told the BBC: "While conducting maintenance we discovered Foreign Object Debris (FOD) in undelivered 737 Max airplanes currently in storage. That finding led to a robust internal investigation and immediate corrective actions in our production system."

Foreign Object Debris is an industrial term for rags, tools, metal shavings and other materials left behind by workers during the assembly process.
The revelation is the latest in a string of problems affecting what was once Boeing's best-selling plane.

The aircraft has been grounded by regulators around the world since March 2019.

It was banned from flying after two separate crashes killed 346 people.

737 Max timeline

  • 29 October 2018: A 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air crashes after leaving Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board
  • 31 January 2019: Boeing reports an order of 5,011 Max planes from 79 customers
  • 10 March 2019: A 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashes, killing all 157 people on board
  • 14 March 2019: Boeing grounds entire 737 Max aircraft fleet
The US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), told the BBC that it was monitoring the plane maker's response to the new issue: "The FAA is aware that Boeing is conducting a voluntary inspection of undelivered aircraft for Foreign Object Debris (FOD) as part of the company's ongoing efforts to ensure manufacturing quality.

"The agency increased its surveillance based on initial inspection reports and will take further action based on the findings," it added.

Boeing said it didn't expect the issue to cause any fresh delays to the 737 Max's return to service, which the company said could happen by the middle of this year.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 08:57
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Iím not convinced that this issue would be limited to just the 737 Max production lines. Checks should cover all Boeing aircraft imho.

John
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 09:20
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Not the first time

I remember working in A/C major overhaul hanger and a customer found a bucking bar used for riveting in a fuel tank,here's the funny part the company told us to stamp our name on all our tools,do you think anyone did that.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 09:32
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All newly built aircraft will have a certain amount of debris left behind at construction even after careful cleaning.
When I was being trained back in the 1960's we were told of a case where a loud clonking noise was heard while the integral fuel tanks in a wing were being 'shoshed' with liquid coating.
On investigation a vacuum cleaner was found, having been overlooked when the final skin was riveted in place.
FOD doesn't get much bigger than that!
Tony
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 09:39
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Originally Posted by Tony Mabelis View Post
All newly built aircraft will have a certain amount of debris left behind at construction even after careful cleaning.
I beg to differ.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 09:47
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The 'absolutely unacceptable' comment did make me smile - that FOD was present, or that someone spotted it?
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 09:49
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Nothing new for Boeing

...
Nothing new for Boeing unfortunately. The problem has migrated from the KC-46. These from a year ago -

https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...manufacturing/

See page 46 - post 906 by ORAC - More KC-46A woes....

...
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 10:23
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An instructor at Oxford about 13 years ago claimed he was once tasked with investigating a fuel issue (random engine cutout) and found a large piece of carpet inside the wing of a mil jet transport plane.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 10:35
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Originally Posted by Lordflasheart View Post
...
Nothing new for Boeing unfortunately. The problem has migrated from the KC-46. These from a year ago -

https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...manufacturing/

See page 46 - post 906 by ORAC - More KC-46A woes....

...
Actually, it's something that has been going on for a lot longer than the above type.

The initial deliveries of the 767 resulted in a lot of fuel pump failures until the problem was traced to swarf in the fuel tanks notably the centre tank. The Boeing reps we worked with at the time, both a credit to Boeing and themselves, really nice people and very professional engineers, were " somewhat scathing " as to the calibre of those recently hired to build the aircraft.

To be fair, Boeing subsequently imposed a far more intensive QC and inspection regime after which, no more fuel pump failures,
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 11:14
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Boeing managment should be fired. All of them. And then put on trial. Volkswagen was forced to pay billions of $ becaues of the dieselgate, and Boeing still dodges any kind of formal punishment.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 11:54
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Originally Posted by Superpilot View Post
An instructor at Oxford about 13 years ago claimed he was once tasked with investigating a fuel issue (random engine cutout) and found a large piece of carpet inside the wing of a mil jet transport plane.
Sounds more versatile than an issued kneepad. Though unfortuneately not strapped to the owner.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 11:55
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Same to Airbus

They should fire the ones who paid airlines to buy their junk.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 12:32
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Originally Posted by Superpilot View Post
An instructor at Oxford about 13 years ago claimed he was once tasked with investigating a fuel issue (random engine cutout) and found a large piece of carpet inside the wing of a mil jet transport plane.
Originally Posted by Tony Mabelis View Post
...On investigation a vacuum cleaner was found, having been overlooked when the final skin was riveted in place. FOD doesn't get much bigger than that!
Yes it does: when I was working on Vulcans many years ago, there was a story that a wooden chair had been found inside a Vulcan wing fuel tank once!
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 12:46
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Originally Posted by Perrin View Post
I remember working in A/C major overhaul hanger and a customer found a bucking bar used for riveting in a fuel tank,here's the funny part the company told us to stamp our name on all our tools,do you think anyone did that.
What is funny about that?
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 13:12
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It should be impossible for a tool to be left behind. The usual process at the end of a shift change is to make sure that every fitter accounts for every one of their tools. If something is missing, the whole shift has to stay and look for it, and they won't be too thrilled. That's a pretty big incentive to diligently account for all your tools!

That should be the culture when working on aircraft.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 13:26
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Originally Posted by possel View Post
Yes it does: when I was working on Vulcans many years ago, there was a story that a wooden chair had been found inside a Vulcan wing fuel tank once!
Thank you possel! I remembered reading that story but had forgotten the details. Made me smile!
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 13:29
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It wasn't funny

Originally Posted by Twitter View Post
What is funny about that?
I did not mean it to be funny,the company should have had produced safeguards
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 14:54
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The military have something called "tool control". It could refer to people, although I've always assumed it referred to spanners etc.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 14:58
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Originally Posted by threep View Post
It should be impossible for a tool to be left behind. The usual process at the end of a shift change is to make sure that every fitter accounts for every one of their tools. If something is missing, the whole shift has to stay and look for it, and they won't be too thrilled. That's a pretty big incentive to diligently account for all your tools!

That should be the culture when working on aircraft.

Just as in the med/surgical world: none of us would take too kindly for the scalpel to be left inside after the op. In the past, the medical world has benefited from aviation's practice of confidential reporting. Time for the aviation world to learn from the medical one. Given the potential seriousness of the most minor error, one wonders that any management who didn't enforce accountability of tools, and thorough disposal of FOD, should be able to stay in post. A raft of senior sackings would perhaps go a long way to sorting the problem.
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Old 19th Feb 2020, 15:21
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Originally Posted by V12 View Post
Just as in the med/surgical world: none of us would take too kindly for the scalpel to be left inside after the op. In the past, the medical world has benefited from aviation's practice of confidential reporting. Time for the aviation world to learn from the medical one. Given the potential seriousness of the most minor error, one wonders that any management who didn't enforce accountability of tools, and thorough disposal of FOD, should be able to stay in post. A raft of senior sackings would perhaps go a long way to sorting the problem.
Not at all clear that the world of surgery has this issue locked down. Wikipedia (I know, I know) reports that
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, [the rate of leaving FOD in patients] is anywhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 5000.[1] However a study done in 2008 reported to the Annals of Surgery that mistakes in tool and sponge counts happened in 12.5% of surgeries.[8] Additionally, the Patient Safety Monitor Alert, announced in 2003 that 1,500 tools were stitched into patients each year.[9] Khaled Sakhel, part of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, reported that it is expected to occur at least once “in every 1,000–1,500”[6] stomach surgeries.
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