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Monday, 20 May, 2024

Safety concerns prompt Biman Bangladesh to review Boeing Dreamliner fleet

A Boeing engineer has expressed safety concerns about the Dreamliner (Boeing 787) aircraft, proposing inspections and potential grounding
Express Report
  21 Apr 2024, 22:26

A Boeing quality engineer has voiced serious concerns about the safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, suggesting a thorough inspection and possible grounding of the fleet operated by various airlines worldwide.

During a US Senate hearing on April 17, whistleblower Sam Salehpour pointed out that Boeing had inadequately shimmed the aircraft, a process involving the use of thin materials to fill small gaps during manufacturing. This oversight, according to Reuters, could lead to premature fatigue failure in certain areas of the aircraft.

Salehpour recommended suspending flights of over 1,000 Dreamliner jets globally to facilitate safety examinations.

This warning has captured global media attention, with the UK's Telegraph also reporting on the matter on the same day.

In response, Bangladesh's Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan directed Biman Bangladesh Airlines to engage immediately with Boeing to address the concerns.

The Bangladeshi flag carrier currently operates six Boeing Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet.

At the same Senate hearing, former Boeing engineer Ed Pierson accused the company of hiding safety records and said he had warned its management about risks before two deadly accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max, which claimed 300 lives.

Boeing has contested Salehpour's assertions about the 787 and 777, mostly used for international flights. They stated on Monday that they have not found fatigue cracks on nearly 700 Dreamliner jets after heavy maintenance, the Reuters said in the report.

On Wednesday, Boeing issued a statement defending the aircraft's safety record, noting that the global 787 fleet has safely transported over 850 million passengers, and the 777 series has flown more than 3.9 billion passengers without incident.

BANGLADESH'S REACTION TO AVIATION SAFETY ISSUES

Minister Faruk has reassured that there is no immediate concern regarding the technical integrity of Biman's Dreamliner fleet given their recent acquisition, per a statement released on Saturday.

Nevertheless, he emphasised the importance of swiftly addressing any issues with Boeing to ensure passenger safety.

Biman's fleet includes 21 aircraft, among them six 787 Dreamliners named Akashbeena, Hansabalaka, Gangchil, Rajhansa, Sonartari, and Achinpakhi. These wide-body aircraft, acquired in 2018 and 2019, are primarily used for long-haul flights to destinations in Europe and the Americas, including Canada.

According to a March 19, 2023 report by Forbes, the Dreamliner continues to be a popular model, with over 1,600 units either delivered or on order, each with a list price of $239 million.

Shafiul Azim, the managing director and CEO of Biman, said in a telephone call on Saturday that the airline maintains regular communication with Boeing regarding technical and maintenance issues.

He plans to update the minister on these discussions soon.

A Biman official said no major security concerns have arisen with the Dreamliners to date.

However, on Jan 20, a Biman Dreamliner, with 297 passengers on board, had to return to Shahjalal International Airport two hours after taking off for Saudi Arabia due to cracks in the cockpit windshield.

Air Commodore Moazzem Hossain, director of engineering and material management at Biman, said the windshield was not supposed to crack four years after the plane was added to Biman’s fleet.

“We’re contacting Boeing to identify if this was a manufacturing fault or caused by some other factor.”

Windshield cracks are not so common in aviation, but a Boeing 787 of Biman had earlier suffered such an incident, Moazzem said.

Windshield cracks can compromise an aircraft’s pressurisation system leading to a disaster.

A Boeing 737 of Biman was grounded in Malaysia after a crack in a cockpit window glass in February 2022.

The same problem in a Dreamliner forced the pilot to return a Doha-bound flight to Dhaka in August 2022.

In January, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 plane carrying 171 passengers and six crew members, was forced to make an emergency landing after a mid-cabin plug door blew out just minutes after take-off from Oregon’s Portland.

Federal Aviation Administration temporarily grounded certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and ordered immediate inspections before they could return to flight.

The temporary grounding applies to aircraft operated by US airlines or in the US territory, and affected approximately 171 airplanes worldwide.

American Boeing and European Airbus are the two major companies in the world that produce wide-body commercial aircraft.

The incident prompted regulators and lawmakers to ratchet up oversight of the jet manufacturer.

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Safety concerns prompt Biman Bangladesh to review Boeing Dreamliner fleet

A Boeing engineer has expressed safety concerns about the Dreamliner (Boeing 787) aircraft, proposing inspections and potential grounding
Express Report
  21 Apr 2024, 22:26

A Boeing quality engineer has voiced serious concerns about the safety of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, suggesting a thorough inspection and possible grounding of the fleet operated by various airlines worldwide.

During a US Senate hearing on April 17, whistleblower Sam Salehpour pointed out that Boeing had inadequately shimmed the aircraft, a process involving the use of thin materials to fill small gaps during manufacturing. This oversight, according to Reuters, could lead to premature fatigue failure in certain areas of the aircraft.

Salehpour recommended suspending flights of over 1,000 Dreamliner jets globally to facilitate safety examinations.

This warning has captured global media attention, with the UK's Telegraph also reporting on the matter on the same day.

In response, Bangladesh's Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan directed Biman Bangladesh Airlines to engage immediately with Boeing to address the concerns.

The Bangladeshi flag carrier currently operates six Boeing Dreamliner aircraft in its fleet.

At the same Senate hearing, former Boeing engineer Ed Pierson accused the company of hiding safety records and said he had warned its management about risks before two deadly accidents involving the Boeing 737 Max, which claimed 300 lives.

Boeing has contested Salehpour's assertions about the 787 and 777, mostly used for international flights. They stated on Monday that they have not found fatigue cracks on nearly 700 Dreamliner jets after heavy maintenance, the Reuters said in the report.

On Wednesday, Boeing issued a statement defending the aircraft's safety record, noting that the global 787 fleet has safely transported over 850 million passengers, and the 777 series has flown more than 3.9 billion passengers without incident.

BANGLADESH'S REACTION TO AVIATION SAFETY ISSUES

Minister Faruk has reassured that there is no immediate concern regarding the technical integrity of Biman's Dreamliner fleet given their recent acquisition, per a statement released on Saturday.

Nevertheless, he emphasised the importance of swiftly addressing any issues with Boeing to ensure passenger safety.

Biman's fleet includes 21 aircraft, among them six 787 Dreamliners named Akashbeena, Hansabalaka, Gangchil, Rajhansa, Sonartari, and Achinpakhi. These wide-body aircraft, acquired in 2018 and 2019, are primarily used for long-haul flights to destinations in Europe and the Americas, including Canada.

According to a March 19, 2023 report by Forbes, the Dreamliner continues to be a popular model, with over 1,600 units either delivered or on order, each with a list price of $239 million.

Shafiul Azim, the managing director and CEO of Biman, said in a telephone call on Saturday that the airline maintains regular communication with Boeing regarding technical and maintenance issues.

He plans to update the minister on these discussions soon.

A Biman official said no major security concerns have arisen with the Dreamliners to date.

However, on Jan 20, a Biman Dreamliner, with 297 passengers on board, had to return to Shahjalal International Airport two hours after taking off for Saudi Arabia due to cracks in the cockpit windshield.

Air Commodore Moazzem Hossain, director of engineering and material management at Biman, said the windshield was not supposed to crack four years after the plane was added to Biman’s fleet.

“We’re contacting Boeing to identify if this was a manufacturing fault or caused by some other factor.”

Windshield cracks are not so common in aviation, but a Boeing 787 of Biman had earlier suffered such an incident, Moazzem said.

Windshield cracks can compromise an aircraft’s pressurisation system leading to a disaster.

A Boeing 737 of Biman was grounded in Malaysia after a crack in a cockpit window glass in February 2022.

The same problem in a Dreamliner forced the pilot to return a Doha-bound flight to Dhaka in August 2022.

In January, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 plane carrying 171 passengers and six crew members, was forced to make an emergency landing after a mid-cabin plug door blew out just minutes after take-off from Oregon’s Portland.

Federal Aviation Administration temporarily grounded certain Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft and ordered immediate inspections before they could return to flight.

The temporary grounding applies to aircraft operated by US airlines or in the US territory, and affected approximately 171 airplanes worldwide.

American Boeing and European Airbus are the two major companies in the world that produce wide-body commercial aircraft.

The incident prompted regulators and lawmakers to ratchet up oversight of the jet manufacturer.

Comments

Finance Minister sees online gambling, hundi behind increasing money laundering
Open market sees dollar crisis after surge in price
Shahjalal Islami Bank PLC. Celebrated the 23rd anniversary
IFIC Bank and Swisscontact Partner to Develop Entrepreneurship in Char Areas
Union Bank inaugurates Dhalapara Sub Branch