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FAA orders urgent engine fixes for Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Staff writer ▼ | April 23, 2016
Describing it as an "urgent safety issue," the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has ordered modifications on specific General Electric engines on some 787 Dreamliners.
Boeing 787 Dreamliners
Aircraft   Dreamliners engines may shut down in flight
An icing problem could force those engines to shut down in flight.

Friday's FAA airworthiness directive stems from a January 29 incident aboard a 787 flying at about 20,000 feet.

"Ice shed from the fan blades causing the blades to rub against the fan case, resulting in engine vibration," GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy told CNN. That forced an engine shut down and the aircraft landed safely with its remaining engine.

According to the FAA document, "Susceptibility to heavy fan blade rubs, if not corrected, could result in engine damage and a possible in-flight non-restartable power loss of one or both engines."

"The potential for common cause failure of both engines in flight is an urgent safety issue," the FAA document said.

The specific engine type is the GEnx-1B PIP2. The order affects about 176 Dreamliners at 29 airlines worldwide, the FAA document said.

The FAA mandate covers 43 U.S. Dreamliners in the U.S. But because most other nations follow the FAA's lead, other nations are expected to follow suit.