US aviation regulator FAA issues safety advisory on KQ’s 10 Boeing planes

Kenya Airways Boeing Plane. [Photo Courtesy]

US aviation regulator, Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has issued a safety advisory to Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways on the state of engines of 10 of its aircraft.

FAA asked KQ to thoroughly inspect the engines of 10 Boeing 737 New Generation (NG) planes citing that they could stop working mid-air since they have been inactive for over three months now.

In its detailed explanation, FAA stated that due to grounding for a long time, Boeing 737NG engine air check valves could corrode. The effect would be stalling of the aircraft’s two engine mid-air.

Across KQ’s 42 African routes, the Boeing 737NG is commonly used.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) director-general Gilbert Kibe said that they have taken note of the advisory by FAA and will ensure full compliance by KQ.

“We have received communication and Kenya Airways too has the alert. We shall monitor the task,” Kibe said during an interview with the Business daily.

The safety advisory was issued against an estimated 7,000 Boeing 737NGs planes across the globe operating in different countries.

All airlines with this fleet of Boeing 737NG must replace corroded air check valves before flying, FAA insisted.

Before the advisory by FAA, Boeing had issued a statement saying that it has communicated the same to all airlines operating the Boeing 737NGs that have been grounded for a while due to coronavirus pandemic.

The manufacturer stated that with the grounding, the engines’ valves in this model is prone to corrosion.

KQ has also committed to adhering to the safety advisory saying the valves in its 10 Boeing 737NG aircraft will be checked ahead of the much-awaited international flights resumption on August 1.

“KQ has a process and has put measures in place to ensure all its affected aircraft have the recommendation accomplished before they get back to the skies,” said the airline in an e-mail response to the Business Daily.

This particular model has a higher passenger capacity which explains why it is common in African routes which KQ has a huge customer base for.