More bad news for Boeing as they admit to falsifying documents relating to a 787 sold to Air Canada. The Dreamliner was sold in 2014 and developed a fault just 10 months after entering service. Boeing sent a statement to CBC News on June 29th, admitting that it had issued documentation falsely claiming manufacturing work had been completed.
A Dreamliner operated by Air Canada had to make an emergency landing due to a fuel leak back in 2015. However, it has now come to light that documents regarding manufacturing works by Boeing were falsified prior to the planes delivery.
This comes as Boeing are under increased scrutiny for the catastrophe of the 737 MAX project, an investigation which has this week been extended to include the Dreamliner manufacturing plant in South Carolina.
According to CBC News, Boeing had issued documentation relating to an Air Canada 787 which stated manufacturing work had been completed. The problem was, it hadn’t. The aircraft, registered C-GHPQ, was the first Dreamliner to be delivered to Air Canada
Subsequently, the Dreamliner went on to develop a fuel leak just 10 months into service. The aircraft was operating a flight from Vancouver to Narita on the 10th February 2015, when it had to make an emergency landing at Anchorage, Alaska, five and a half hours into the flight.
At the time, an Air Canada spokesperson told CBC News, “The pilot had oil indicators from one of the engines,” but gave no further details.
Boeing provided the following statement to Simple Flying in relation to the incident:
“Following the report from the operator, Boeing self-disclosed this occurrence to the FAA. Boeing then conducted a follow-up audit both internally and with operators, and concluded that this was an isolated event. Immediate corrective action was initiated for both the Boeing mechanic and the Boeing inspector involved.
“Boeing also initiated long-term corrective action, including formal training and communication on personal accountability in the manufacturing process, stressing the importance of complying with all regulatory requirements. The company also strengthened its Employee Corrective Action procedure for improper acceptance of work.”
Was the Air Canada Dreamliner in danger?
Airlines rely on these types of documents to ensure safe operation of their aircraft. As such, falsifying records like this jeopardize the safety of the jet and of all passengers who fly on it. But was the Air Canada 787 ever in any real danger?
Any fuel leak is unwanted on any sort of aircraft, particularly when you consider the high temperatures involved in gas turbine engines. However, thankfully there were no incidents involving the Air Canada Dreamliner.
The carrier conducted a thorough review of its entire fleet of 787s, of which they have 35, and found no evidence of fuel leaks on any other aircraft. A spokesperson told CBC news that,
“All of our aircraft are subject to regular and thorough inspections and we maintain them in full accordance with all manufacturer and regulatory directives,”
Although no incidents came about as a result of this discrepancy, it raises some serious questions about the culture at Boeing in general. Kudos to them for self-reporting the problem as soon as it was raised, but the fact remains that this should never have happened in the first place.
Transport Canada have not been highly involved in this issue, as they say the falsification of documents falls under the jurisdiction of the FAA. However, they have said they are evaluating this new information, and how it will affect the ongoing investigation into Boeing.