The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration proposed on Wednesday requiring a fix for Boeing Co’s 787-8 Dreamliner, following “numerous reports of failures of proximity sensors” on the high-tech plane’s wings.
A sensor failure could cause the plane to go off the runway while landing on a short runway or in adverse weather, the FAA said in a proposed airworthiness directive scheduled to be published on Friday.
The directive, if adopted, would affect 15 planes registered in the United States, the FAA said. FAA actions are often followed by non-U.S. airlines. Through the end of October, Boeing has delivered 197 787-8s worldwide.
“We have received numerous reports of failures of the proximity sensor within the slat skew detection mechanism assembly (DMA) leading to slats up landing events,” the FAA said.
“It was determined that the failed sensors had broken magnet wires due to stresses induced by thermal expansion and contraction of an epoxy applied around them,” the agency added.
The new rule would require 787-8 operators to replace the slat skew detection mechanism assembly within two years of the date the directive takes effect. The cost is estimated at $935 per plane.
Boeing said it supports the FAA rule, which makes action mandatory and noted that in March it had asked operators of 132 787-8s to replace the mechanism on each wing of the aircraft. About a third have already been retrofitted, it said.
“We are committed to the safety and quality of our products and addressed the issue promptly once identified,” Boeing said in a statement.