The recent, broader Boeing quality control inspection on 787 Dreamliner fuselages revealed structure-related issues in some areas of the wide-body jet.
The quality inspections of 787 Dreamliner, run by Boeing, reportedly found that some parts of the aircraft fuselage, where its segments merge, were potentially joined together “not as smoothly as required“, Boeing representative told the media on December 14, 2020. However, these engineering discrepancies were “roughly equivalent to the human hair width“ and posed no direct threat to the safety of the Dreamliner, according to the spokesperson.
The same conclusions were made by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which confirmed that the recently found issues of the plane fuselage could not be considered as an immediate aircraft safety concern. The FAA outlined being continuously engaged with Boeing as per Continued Operational Safety and manufacturing oversight procedures.
Boeing initiated the quality control check for the 787 Dreamliner at the end of August 2020, after the risk of a structural failure had been identified by the manufacturer itself. Following the potential risk, a total of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners of Air Canada (ADH2), Singapore Airlines (SIA1) (SINGY), and United Airlines were temporarily grounded.
In September 2020, the FAA joined Boeing’s investigation on manufacturing flaws of the jet and found two potentially problematic issues with the aft part of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fuselage. At the time, the U.S regulator concluded that if combined on the same plane, two identified structural issues could result in deformation of some parts of the jet or even failure under extreme operating conditions.