FAA Issues Airworthiness Directive on Boeing 777 Fuel Systems

Photo Credit: Boeing

LONDON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on 282 Boeing 777 aircraft following fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer.

As stated in the AD, it says the following:

“The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 777 airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by fuel system reviews conducted by the manufacturer.”

“This proposed AD would require, depending on the airplane configuration, installation of Teflon sleeves, cap sealing of fasteners, detailed inspections, and corrective actions.”

“This proposed AD would also require revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate more restrictive airworthiness limitations (AWLs). The FAA is proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.”

All 282 Boeing 777 aircraft belong on the U.S registry, according to the AD. The FAA believes that the repairs and works needed will take an average of 90 work hours per operator.

This AD is expected to cost operators of the affected aircraft around $14m across the entire set of operators, bringing it to a total cost of around $49,835 per product.

Which U.S Carriers Operate the 777?

United, American & Delta are among the big three that operate the Boeing 777, so their aircraft will no doubt be affected by the changes needed to the aircraft.

For United, in particular, this will sting once again, as they only just had 52 of their 777s cleared to fly again following the engine explosion onboard Flight 328 back in February 2021.

As a result, their fleet of 777-200s with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines had to be grounded until the FAA could recertify them to fly again in case anything else went wrong.

For American & Delta, they tend to use their 777s on long-haul flights, as do United with the -200 and -300 families, respectively.

Good Motion from Boeing…

With this AD being instigated by Boeing rather than the FAA, this is a good move from the American planemaker, especially when it comes to safety.

The manufacturer has taken a lot of criticism over the last few years with the two MAX crashes, as well as issues with its 787 programs.

By getting this out there, they have spotted the problem before it becomes another fatal accident on Boeing’s list of negative events, so it does seem like they have learned from their mistakes in this regard.

This level of safety standards is what should have been around years ago, but at least now it is in place.


It remains clear that Boeing does not want to repeat the past, and can be credited for spotting the issues and reporting them to the FAA.

Whilst this means additional costs for airlines, this is something that shouldn’t really matter, especially when safety should be a paramount priority for those operators.

Either way, Boeing has definitely learned a lot so far. The next thing is ensuring that level of consistency that prevents any more fatal accidents from happening in the long term.

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