U.S. orders checks on Boeing jets
Aug 28,2007 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration ordered wing inspections on some 780 Boeing aircraft after a fire in a jet destroyed a plane in Japan last week.

Airlines and other operators were given three weeks from last weekend to complete the inspections and must repeat the inspection after every 3,000 landings, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The directive didn't specifically mention the Aug. 20 incident when a China Airlines B-737's wing burst into flames after landing at Japan's Okinawa Airport but described its sequence, the report said. There were only minor injuries in the incident but the aircraft was destroyed.

Investigators said the fire was caused by a loose bolt that punctured the fuel tank as the plane's slats used on takeoff and landing were retracted. It's thought the bolt became loose on the China Airlines craft because a maintenance worker failed to reinstall a washer, the report said.

Boeing spokesman Jim Proulx told the Post that Boeing had received four reports in the past about loose nuts in slats and said Boeing had issued several bulletins since December 2005, the most recent going out last month.

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