Published January 27, 2014
Federal regulators will reportedly order safety checks of more than 400 Boeing 767 airplanes Monday, citing concerns over movable tail sections that could potentially jam and cause pilots to lose control of the aircraft.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) order for the checks will be published in Monday's Federal Register. It specifically calls for detailed inspections of the horizontal flight-control surfaces on the tail, called elevators, as well as the parts used to secure and control them. Elevators aid planes in taking off and descending.
The Journal reported that some carries have already replaced the parts in question to avoid the inspections.
The new order comes two months before the FAA is requiring U.S. carriers to swap out suspect parts of elevator mechanisms in favor of a permanent fix designed by Boeing. The changes must be made within the next six years.
The FAA first began identifying difficulties with the elevator mechanisms in 2000, when the first enhanced checks were ordered to identify issues with fasteners or other parts of the mechanism. Since then, Boeing has issued six service bulletins involving elevators and related parts.
The FAA has not identified damaged parts and non-working elevators as being the cause of any 767 accidents.