FAA Orders Inspections of Boeing 737s

Hundreds of jets to be checked for loose nut that caused China Airlines fire
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2007 4:30 AM CDT
In this photo released Thursday, Aug. 23, 20007 by Japan's Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Tokyo, a bolt is seen piercing...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered airlines to inspect hundreds of Boeing 737s after a loose bolt punctured a China Airlines jet last week, causing a fire that destroyed the aircraft. Southwest, Delta, Continental, AirTran, Alaska Air, ATA and Aloha Airlines have 24 days to check for loose nuts on a wing assembly used during takeoff and landing.

Boeing issued a "service letter" warning about the loose nuts in 2005 after receiving four reports of the problem and determining it could cause a fuel leak, but such letters don't require any action. The Chinese Airline plane caught fire after it landed in Okinawa. All 165 people aboard were evacuated safely. "We and Boeing are still assessing the situation," said an FAA spokesman.