The federal government ordered inspections of wing slats of all new Boeing 737s. The Federal Aviation Administration submitted these orders in response to an emergency that occurred last week when a Chinese Airlines jet taxied to a stop in Okinawa last week and caught on fire. Fortunately, all of the passengers escaped safely before the plane was engulfed in flames.
According to media reports, Taiwanese investigators found that a bolt was responsible for the accident that caused the terrible fire last week. When the wing slats opened upon landing in order to stabilize the plane, a bolt probably sheared a hole in the fuel tank, causing the massive fire.
The FAA subsequently issued what is termed an “airworthiness directive” pertaining to all newer models of 737s in use since 1998. These planes are used in the United States and abroad by a variety of carriers. An inspection of the wing assembly during this downtime will permit inspector the opportunity to determine whether planes are fit for returning to the air.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Airline, Cruise, Bus, and Other Mass Transit.