More than 2,500 Boeing Co. 737 jets in the U.S. will have to be inspected after the company and regulators discovered a potential flaw in a pressure switch that could lead to pilots becoming incapacitated.
The Federal Aviation Administration said airlines and operators should inspect cabin pressure switches, which help ensure there’s sufficient air to breathe as planes climb to higher altitudes. The failure rate of the switches is “much higher than initially estimated” and poses a safety risk, the FAA said in a directive posted to the Federal Register website Thursday.
While the FAA has no legal authority over other nations, the order will likely be adopted around the world for thousands of other planes. Boeing last year concluded the issue didn’t pose a significant safety risk, but the agency and the company reversed themselves after finding more such failures.
“Safety is our highest priority and we fully support the FAA’s direction, which makes mandatory the inspection interval that we issued to the fleet in June,” Boeing said in a statement.
The inspections on the devices must be conducted within 2,000 flight hours of the most recent test.
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