New safety fears for Boeing with Dreamliner

Boeing’s 737 Max is still grounded in most parts of the world, while the B787 reportedly has defective fire switches

Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Photo/Boeing's FB)

Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Photo/Boeing's FB)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Boeing B787 Dreamliner may pose a safety threat, according to a new report, as the aerospace giant struggles to restore consumer trust in its troubled 737 Max.

The Guardian said Boeing issued a warning to airlines using its B787 Dreamliner, saying there have been a number of instances when the fire extinguisher switch malfunctioned. Despite acknowledging such risks exist, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined not to ground the fleet.

According to the report, the FAA did issue a directive to air operators indicating the existence of the problem and a possible scenario in which a fire could become “uncontrollable.” The U.S. regulator, however, decided not to ground the B787 Dreamliner, but instead asked air carriers to conduct inspections every 30 days.

A pilot was quoted by The Observer as saying that if an engine fire breaks out on a transatlantic flight with the defective fire switches, “we would have to fly with a burning wing for up to three hours before we could safely land.”

The FAA was castigated for initially refusing to ground Boeing’s 737 Max fleet following two fatal crashes caused by a software malfunction. The agency took a U-turn and banned the aircraft when the incidents were investigated, after countries moved to impose restrictions on the fleet as it faced mounting pressure from home and abroad.

Boeing has said it is open to renaming the 737 Max, its top-selling but most notorious aircraft. The company, though, stressed that it has no plans to rebrand and that the priority is to ensure the aircraft's safe resumption of service, wrote CNN.