Paint flakes ground American MD-80s

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Paint flakes ground American MD-80s

Post by Scylla »

American Airlines was forced to ground 22 of its Boeing MD-80s in November after finding paint chips in their fuel filters.

The problem was identified in early November when filter warning lights illuminated on two MD-80s, says the airline.

Maintenance workers determined that the aircraft were from a batch of 32 that had been through a major overhaul in the summer, when their fuel access plates - manufactured by the carrier in Tulsa, Oklahoma - were painted. Inspections determined that 22 of the 32 aircraft had paint chips in the fuel filters.

"We discovered that the paint we put on plates did not adhere," says the airline, adding that the paint was "coming off in little flakes", which were being found in the fuel filters. The MD-80 fuel filters "never had a full clog" nor caused an in-flight engine shutdown and the paint chips were "never a safety issue as far as we're concerned".

However, the carrier pulled the 22 aircraft out of service to repair the problem at its airport line maintenance facilities and overhaul bases, causing some cancellations. At the peak of the groundings, 40 flight segments were cancelled, but that figure was reduced as aircraft returned to service.

A new procedure that involves changing the way the plates are prepared for painting was employed by maintenance staff for the aircraft, and will be used in future.
Airplanes usually kill you quickly - a woman takes her time.
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